We’ll Award Contracts Till May 28 – Fashola

Babatunde Raji Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing, says the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari would continue to award contracts till midnight of May 28.

The Minister further described questions by critics that queried the Buhari administration for awarding contracts when it had few days to leave power as “juvenile conversations.”

The former Lagos State governor, who spoke on Thursday in Akure when he flagged off construction of the 49km Akure-Ado-Ekiti road, disclosed that the National Assembly has passed a budget for the administration to work.

Responding to those advising the President to stop awarding further contracts, with few days to the expiration of his government, maintained that “this government must work until the very last day of its tenure”

He said “some people are still saying why are they borrowing few days to their expiration, its because we don’t have enough money and people want infrastructure.

“Some people are saying that why are we still awarding contracts few days to go, but they have forgotten that the tenure of this present administration ends at the midnight of 28th May, 2023 and when it is 12 midnight, Bola Tinubu takes over the government and that is why we are still working.

“They forget that you the people of Nigeria through your representatives have passed a budget for us to implement.

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“If you don’t want borrowing that means government will increase your taxes because that is another way to pay the deficits and that is how it is done in any party of the world.”

Speaking on how some projects are being funded, Fashola said “we want good roads and we are complaining that Buhari’s administration is borrowing money, who is now going to give us money to execute all these projects.

“I’m also here to tell you that we will be leaving behind sustainable development here whether we are still in the office or not.

“Two days ago, I signed the advance payment guarantee request for the release of the money to the contractor.

“Now that we have done all the processes, contractor have started moving around to talk to those that will supply them materials to use for the construction. So, we are constructing this road afresh.

According to him, the former contractor engaged to construct the road could not start work because the fund that was to be used could only pay for work done and not pay mobilisation to contractors.

He further revealed that the contractor has sued the Federal Government for N10 billion.

However, he explained that the road was being constructed by the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited under the Tax Credit Policy at a cost of over N90 billion.

The Minister said he rejected proposals to upgrade and carry out remedial repairs on the road because he wanted the road dualised.

Calling on the incoming National Assembly members to review the Procurement Act, Fashola said the present processes involved in the Procurement Law slowed down development.