Politics

Reps C’ttee queries allocation of N15bn to East West Road project

Published

on

The House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Affairs on Tuesday in Abuja queried the allocation of N15 billion to the East West Road project.

The members of the committee at the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs 2021 budget defence frowned at the allocation of N4 billion to all other human developmental projects in the region.

The Chairman of the committee, Rep. Essien Ayi (PDP-Cross River) said that the East West road had been under construction for over 14 years.

“We just finished with EndSARS, we know what happened, the whole of my state capital everywhere was turned upside down.

“The kind of devastation that I saw there, it would have taken us about 10 years back.

“If the budget is youth-oriented, then why are we going to use N15 billion for East West road.

“I listened to the news where the Senate President warned that we should be careful that if this thing resurfaces again it is going to be very devastating.

“So, minister, we have about 300 or more projects in Niger Delta. So, how are you going to allocate the money to these kinds of projects, it’s not possible, we will not do it,” he said.

Also, Rep. Edim Eta (PDP-Cross River) said that budgeting N15 billion for East West Road and N4 billion for other projects in the Niger Delta is unfair.

According to him, I believe the bulk of the funding that is coming in 2021 should go to youth programmes.

“We all witnessed the EndSARS protest, all these were from frustrations of staying at home from ASUU strike, unemployment.

“So can only N4 billion out of the total budget of Niger Delta go to those projects.

“I do not think that is a good idea; if the East West road has been taken from the sovereign wealth fund, then the provision for that 15 billion should have been done separately to cover that,” he said.

Responding, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, said that he wanted to deliver a road that would last.

The minister said that it was on record that roads constructed under his watch had no potholes even 13 years after.

“So, I have a lot hope I will deliver same in the Niger Delta. So we will provide for you the details of designs and all.

“I have not allowed any single variation, because I have not seen the kind of quality of work, I would have loved to see.

“There was one that entered into Federal Executive Council and I had to step it down.

“I have not yet presented a single variation, let them do the original work so that we see, because this thing has taken too long.

“From 2006 up till date, when I was not part of government, I used to think that the road was over priced, but now that I am part of government, I think it was adequately priced.

“It is just that the aggregate has gone up in terms of materials,” he said.

Akpabio said that N15 billion could spread across projects and not a single one will be completed under the current administration saying, “let us  just close our eyes and do something.”

He said if that was not done, the ministry would be like Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) with about 12,000 abandoned projects across Niger Delta after spending trillions.

The minister said that the amount for the road in Section 1-4 is about N423 billion and amount so far paid to date is about N354 billion.

“The total completion in my opinion is about 80 per cent. Yes, the terrain is challenging, annual rainfall affects the work, releases of funds are slow and then COVID-19 added to it too.

“But we are determined to surpass those challenges. That’s why we are here today,” Akpabio said.

Edited By: Donald Ugwu
Source: NAN

Ericjames Ochigbo

Ericjames Ochigbo: NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.ng. Disclaimer.

Latest News

UN Delegation visits South West State to discuss support and collaboration in 2021 Statement attributable to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on the situation of Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia’s Tigray region Coronavirus – Gambia: COVID-19 update (14 January 2021) South Africa‘s Workshop17 starts new year as a global awards finalist & announces plans for a new workspace concept in Joburg Senegal already produces Gas: Investors should look Onshore Ogun Govt plans to upgrade Staff Development Centre to Public Service College Concerned about reports of violence ahead of Uganda elections, Secretary-General calls on all national stakeholders to ensure polls are inclusive, peaceful Coronavirus – Rwanda: COVID-19 update (13 January 2021) Coronavirus – Nigeria: COVID-19 update (13 January 2021) OUT NOW! 2nd Edition of “Billions At Play” charts recovery path for African Oil & Gas Sector Coronavirus – Kenya: COVID-19 update (13 January 2021) WHO Eritrea supports the Ministry of Health maternity waiting homes in remote areas with essential supplies atingi eLearning platform reaches nearly 1 Million African youth in 1st year Africa COVID-19 cases top 3 million, first wave peak surpassed WHO Africa Online Press Briefing on COVID-19 in Africa The spectacular rise of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) under Ahmed Sultan Bin Sulayem Safeguard yourself from falling victim to online trading scams Coronavirus – Gambia: COVID-19 update (13 January 2021) WHO Africa Online Press Briefing on COVID-19 in Africa Please Help Bobi Wine and the People of Uganda Urge the International Community to Play an Active Role Calling on The Uganda Government to Hold Free and Fair Elections Without Intimidation and Violence Underhand tactics suspected in race for Confederation of African Football (CAF) presidency African Business Council applauds the start of trading on the basis of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Bank of Khyber transforms to Temenos Core and Digital Banking Platform Within the Framework of Cooperation between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation: Five Ministers Witness the Signing of ITFC’s 2021 Program Totaling US$ 1.1 Billion Aimed at Providing Integrated Trade Solutions to Egypt Coronavirus – Zimbabwe: COVID-19 Update (12th January 2021) Coronavirus – Malawi: COVID-19 update (12 January 2021) Coronavirus – Uganda: COVID-19 update (12 January 2021) Switzerland and The Gambia sign cooperation agreements on migration and civil aviation Coronavirus – Ethiopia: COVID-19 update (12th January 2021) Coronavirus – Rwanda: COVID-19 update (12 January 2021) How Nigerian Entrepreneur Oke Afolabi is Accelerating Digitalization of Banks in Nigeria Coronavirus – South Africa: COVID-19 update (12 January 2021) Africa: the most ‘ready-for-circularity’ continent? Ending Violence in Mozambique Will Require United Effort; African Energy Chamber Stands Ready to Assist (By NJ Ayuk) BREAKING: WHO DG, Tedros Ghebreyesus, Ghana’s President, Akufo-Addo, Mo Ibrahim, Graca Machel, Others, Emerge Winners In The ALM Persons Of The Year 2020 Awards UN agencies and partners establish global Ebola vaccine stockpile IMF Executive Board completes first and second reviews of the Central African Republic’s arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility and approves US$ 34.4 Million disbursement Coronavirus – Nigeria: COVID-19 update (12 January 2021) Humanitarian crisis looms in Southern Madagascar as drought and pandemic double number of hungry people DHL Global Forwarding invests 126.5 million rand in new facility in South Africa H.E. Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana confirmed for Mining Indaba Virtual Coronavirus – Uganda: COVID-19 update (11 January 2021) Coronavirus – South Africa: COVID-19 update (11 January 2021) Coronavirus – Rwanda: COVID-19 update (11 January 2021) Ethiopia: MSF provides medical assistance to some of the most affected people in Tigray Militants continue to stage deadly attacks as insecurity expands into previously ‘safe’ zones in West Africa, Sahel, top official tells Security Council World Bank plans to invest over $5 Billion in Drylands in Africa Control Risks announces the Top 5 Risks for Business in 2021 Coronavirus: African Union Member States reporting COVID-19 cases as of 11 January 2021, 6 pm EAT Coronavirus – Malawi: COVID-19 update (11 January 2021)