The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, may be sacked, following his Ministry’s inability to execute a single capital project in 2017, according to sources.
Post-Nigeria recalls that billions of naira were allocated to Fashola’s Ministry in the 2017 budget.
Fashola, on Wednesday, shocked the entire nation, when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Works, to defend the 2018 budget proposed by his Ministry.
A member of the Committee, Senator Barnabas Gemade, had asked why this Ministry executed zero capital projects in 2017.
Fashola responded: “The 2017 budget was passed in June. The procurement law requires a procurement plan which took till September. In following this law, the first release was in August. Most of the projects were going through procurement formalities, such as tax identity, contract terms, even construction companies went on holidays. So, there were so many things.”
The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya, then asked about the number of projects that were not procured in 2017, since there was a rollover of projects from 2016.
Fashola was however, unable to respond to the question, stating that even the Director of Planning in the Ministry could not give a definite answer. He then pleaded with the Committee to bring a detailed report later.
The Minister stated: “It is a tough task. We may be allowed to submit those details. The ending solution, which has not been found favourable, is that once you appropriate for a project in a particular budget, it should not be lined up in another year.”
He added: “Most of these roads are between 50km and 100km. In your States, 5km (road) takes 24 months. Then if we have more in a budget, we cannot finish them. It is not what we want. Our resources are not increasing in an exponential manner, compared to our projects.”
Sources however, revealed that the Senate may recommend the splitting of the Ministries; and Fashola’s removal from the Works’ Ministry, to enable him to pay close attention to the Ministry of Power and Housing.