The Senate has cautioned Minister for Works, power and Housing Babatunde Fashola to stop spreading wrong information and half-truth about the 2017 budget as the legislators worked to ensure equity across the country on all new and outstanding projects.
The Senate through its spokesman Abdullahi Sabi notes that the minister did not give members of the public full details about the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, which has been on a private finance initiative from the beginning because he would prefer an arrangement that allows the Ministry to continue to award contracts and fund the project through Government budgetary allocation at a time when the nation’s revenue is dwindling and at an all time low.
The Bureau for Public Procurement, and the Federal Executive Council in 2013, approved the reconstruction, rehabilitation and expansion of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway as a Public Private Partnership project using the Private Finance Initiative, with the Federal Government providing about 30 percent of the funding while the balance shall be provided by the private sector.
The project was on course for completion by end of 2017 when the private finance initiative was being implemented, with over 30 percent completion rate attained as at early 2015.
Abdullahi further noted that in a blatant disregard for existing agreements, constituted authorities and extant laws, Fashola on assumption of office got Government through the Ministry to start voting money for the implementation of the project.
Last year the 2016 Appropriation Act voted N40 billion for the project on the insistence of the Ministry and only N26 billion was released.