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‘Don’t Blame Us For Bad Roads In Nigeria’, Senate To Fashola

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Senate has said the National Assembly should not be held responsible for bad roads in Benue State or any other part of the country.

It described a statement credited to Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Works and Housing, on the state of Nigerian roads as ‘fallacy of the highest order’.

According to the red chamber, Fashola alleged that lawmakers should be held responsible for the poor state of some federal roads in Benue State.

The Minister was reported to have made the allegation in his office in Abuja during a courtesy call on him by retired Generals and ‘other leaders of thought’ from Benue South Senatorial District.

Reacting to the claim, the Senate in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Dr. Ajibola Basiru, on Sunday, November 1, 2020, said the Senate should not be held responsible for bad roads in Benue State or any other part of the country.

The statement titled, “Senate debunks Minister’s claim on budgetary allocations to road construction,” described the claim attributed to Fashola as a fallacy of the highest order.

The Senate said it wouldn’t want to engage in any unnecessary altercation with Fashola, but decided to react to the allegation because the issue of roads roads infrastructure was important and controversial.

The statement reads;

It is necessary to put all the records straight so as to disabuse the minds of the unsuspecting public about the acts of the National Assembly.

The records are needed to be set right so that the two arms of government should not be seen as working at cross purposes in the course of delivering dividends and good governance to electorate.

Putting the records straight, the Senate gave the figures of the 2020 proposal for capital expenditure as N265, 868 037,093bn by the Executive which the National Assembly passed.

The Executive later brought revised allocation of N256, 734,983,667bn which we also appropriated.

It added,

As we talk, even in the budget proposal for 2021, the Executive proposed a capital expenditure of N363, 266, 425, 976bn.

The Senate then wondered where the Hon. Minister got his figure of N600bn which he said was the figure proposed to the National Assembly by his ministry and which was allegedly not supported or approved by the National Assembly.

The Senate, therefore, invites Nigerians and specifically the Ministers guests from Benue State South Senatorial District to note that figures do not lie.

Senate added that constructions are currently ongoing in Oju -Adum Okuku road at N91,180,000, Oturkpo Township road at N357,200,000 and Oju/ Loko — Oweto bridge at a cost of N357,200,000, all in Benue South.

Basiru said;

On the Minister’s allusion and or allegation to prioritising constituency projects over other projects, the Senate affirmed that the Minister was merely calling a pity party and being sentimental.

The (Fashola’s) statement was made to set the National Assembly on collision course with the people they are democratically representing.

Senate stressed that allocations for meant for other projects have never been diverted to constituency projects as constituency projects always have allocations in the budget.

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