Babatunde Raji Fashola Minister for Power, Works and Housing declared Federal Government reflection of reimbursement to State Governments for restoring federal roads within their territories by way of releasing bonds to them.
This he said during the period of his visit to Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos State at Government House, Ikeja.
It was noted that the visit was part of the Nationwide Project Monitoring Exercise to inspect Federal Government projects.
While in Ibadan, the Minister paid a courtesy call to Governor Abiola Ajimobi upon inspecting some Federal Government roads and Housing projects in the State. He divulged that contractors were being owed by the former administration for over three years. This he said warranted the forslow in completion of some of the projects, but “as far as money issue is concerned, the former story is that contractors have been owed up to three to four years, we shall try to pay them at least every quarter and we have not defaulted”.
However, “the Ministry had presented this proposal to the Federal Government on how to pay debts owed State Governments including Lagos for work done on Federal roads and projects over the years, and that the debt would be paid through the instrument of bond”.
He stated that the President has also raised the budget for infrastructure from about N422 billion as at the previous year to over N500 billion this running year.
Governor Ambode of Lagos State commended the Minister for his feats during his administration as the State Governor and promised to batten on the existing partnership the State has with the Federal Government. Similarly, Federal Government has guaranteed payment of contractors handling projects across the nation.
Meanwhile, Fashola told Governor Ajimobi that Federal Government would now pay contractors in quartiles of the 12 months to avert accumulation of debts for services rendered.
The Minister applauded the President’s efforts in changing the nation during the commissioning of the Ministerial Pilot Housing Scheme at Ilorin-Ogbomosho expressway. In his words, “in the past, money was hidden in the garages but today, the money is being made available to build projects. The people of Oyo State say they need more houses and they are getting them now”. He continued, “the secret for more housing is in the National Housing Fund. For the first time in about 20 years, the Federal Mortgage Bank is returning a surplus of about N2.7 billion, ‘that is change“.
Further on that, he posited that over one hundred families will live in these houses, “a change“. The artisans whose skills are utilized in building these houses are trained locally and have been given the opportunity to showcase their skills and build their country, yet, “another change”.