*As Fashola complains over N10bn compensation request over 2nd Niger Bridge
The second meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N8.2billion for four road projects across the country.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the meeting which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, considered and approved four memoranda presented by the ministry of works and housing.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said two of the approvals were to revise the estimates of cost to enable to contractor continue work.
Fashola said the council endorsed N519 million revision of contract sum of Oba Nnewi Okigwe Road to cater for change in cost of materials since the project was awarded in 2009.
He said the contract sum had been revised from N3.7 to N4.3 billion.
The minister, who stated that the second contract that had a revision of estimate was the 67 kilometres Alace-Ugep road in Cross River state, said the meeting approved a revision from N9.16 billion to N11.22 billion, bringing the revised cost to N2.052 billion.
Fashola, who said the council approved the change of contractor for the Chachangi Bridge linking Takum and Wukari in Taraba state, added that the contract was re-awarded at the cost of N2.132 billion.
The reconstruction of Katsina-Ala bridge, which includes total repairs, changing of expansion joints, changing of bearings and rehabilitation of the 3.2 kilometres access road at Ugbema junction in Benue State, was awarded at the cost of N3.576 billion.
Fashola, who fielded questions from journalists on the deplorable state of roads despite series of approvals by the FEC, said budget funding gaps caused the failure of the ministry to complete some road projects in the country in the last four years.
He said his office is yet to get fund since his reappointment as minister because of the ongoing paper work and identified unnecessary harassment and demand for payment of compensation by benefiting communities as factors that caused the delay in the completion of the road projects.
Fashola cited the current demand for N10 billion as compensation on the 2nd Niger Bridge.
“Getting FEC approvals is one half of the story, but we don’t get all of the cash. Even the local communities are not helping issues. As we speak, some people are asking us to pay N10 billion now as compensation for the 2nd Niger bridge.
“There is a gap between infrastructure needs and income. People are also complaining that government is borrowing too much.
“We have heard that funds have been released, but we are yet to get anything. I have not received any money since I came to office, this time around,” he added.