The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), says contractors will resume work on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway next week.
Fashola, who spoke at the inaugural Buharimeter Town Hall meeting in Abuja on Thursday, said contractors had abandoned several projects because the last administration owed them money.
The former governor of Lagos State said even though the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration had yet to release funds to the contractors, they were willing to return to site because they trusted the integrity of the new government.
Fashola stated, “In 2014, we spent N45bn on roads for the whole country and we spent N18bn on roads in 2015. Now, the fallout of meetings with our contractors generally is that they have not been paid for three years but budgets were made for the last three years.
“We have been having meetings with some contractors on the basis of our credibility, our collective integrity, saying to them go back to site.
“Our contractors will go back to site on Monday next week; they have told me they will return to the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
“They have not been paid but that is what change means, that this government is credible and believable. If we say we will pay, we will pay. And this is what you will see in places like Iheala and a few other places where we are intervening but what is important now is that we have met with all our contractors and identified contracts that have survived the budget, we have approved those contracts for funding and in the next few days to weeks, the disbursement will start for many of the roads.”
Fashola, however, lamented that the activities of the Niger Delta Avengers were seriously affecting power generation due to the vandalism of oil and gas installations.
He said for Nigeria to be better, citizens must protect government installations like it was done in other countries, stating that the newly constructed railway was already being vandalised.
“The Minister of Transportation (Rotimi Amaechi) just told me that vandals were removing nuts and rails for railway,” Fashola said.