As Senate Lampoons Minister’s Claim on Budgetary Allocations to Road Construction
*** Says Figures don’t lie
By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- THE Senate has taken a swipe at the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, SAN on his position on dilapidated federal government Roads, saying that the
Minister should not set the National Assembly on collision course with the people who elected them.
According to the Senate, it took an exception to the statement credited to the Minister of works that the National Assembly should be held responsible for the dilapidated state of Federal roads in Benue State.
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The Senate has however lampooned Fashola, describing such a statement as a “fallacy of the highest order”.
Fashola was quoted to have made the allegation in his office in Abuja during a courtesy call by retired Generals and ‘other leaders of thought’ from Benue South Senatorial District led by Air Vice Marshal Morgan Monday who came to complain about the deplorable state of roads in the senatorial district.
In a statement yesterday by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ajibola Basiru, All Progressives Congress, APC, Osun Central, said that the National Assembly can not and should not be held responsible for the dilapidated state of roads whether in Benue State or any part of the country.
Specifically on the Minister’s allusion and or allegation to prioritising constituency projects over other projects, the Senate noted that Fashola was merely calling a pity party and being sentimental, adding, “It should be emphasized therefore that never has allocations specifically meant for other projects ever been diverted to constituency projects as constituency projects are having allocations in the budget.”
The Upper Chamber said that execution of the much talked about constituency projects lie within the Executive Arm of government through its various ministries, agencies and parastatals.
According to the Senate Spokesperson, Nigerians and specifically the Ministers guests from Benue State South Senatorial District should note that “figures do not lie”
The Senate which said that though it would not want to engage in any unnecessary altercation with the Minister, however stated that it has to speak up because the issue of roads infrastructure is important and controversial, adding that it was necessary to put all the records straight in order to disabuse the minds of the unsuspecting public about the acts of the National Assembly.
Senator Basiru said, “The records are needed to be set right so that the two arms of government should not be seen as working at cross purposes in the course of delivering dividends and good governance to electorates.”
The Chairman, Media and Public Affairs Committee who noted that the records must be put straight and while giving the figures of the 2020 proposal for capital expenditure as 265, 868 037,093 billion Naira by the Executive which the National Assembly passed, said that the Executive later brought revised allocation of 256, 734,983,667 billion Naira which we also appropriated.
He said, “As we talk, even in the budget proposal for 2021, the Executive proposed a capital expenditure of 363, 266, 425, 976 billion Naira.
“The Senate then wondered where the Hon. Minister got his figure of 600 billion Naira which he said was the figure proposed to the National Assembly by his ministry and which was allegedly not supported or approved by the National Assembly.
“The Senate However listed three road constructions which are ongoing in the Benue South to be Oju -Adum Okuku road at N 91,180 000, Oturko Township road at N357 200, 000 and Oju/ Loko – Oweto bridge at a cost of N357, 200, 000.
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