Employment embargo affecting infrastructural delivery
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has explained how the shortage of young engineers and technical officers occasioned by the embargo on employment by the Federal Government and low budgetary provision have adversely affected his ministry on infrastructural delivery.
Making the disclosure at a budget defence meeting with the House of Representatives Committee on Works, Tuesday, Fashola also told the panel that N10.4 trillion was currently owed highway contractors by the FG.
â€œThe shortage of younger engineers, technical officers in the ministry as a result of embargo on employment is affecting proficient project supervision at the sites. It is expected that more sources of funding for highway projects be explored as well as lifting the embargo on employment of needed engineers and technical officers at the middle level to enhance supervision of projects.
â€œThe main challenge to highways development in the country remains inadequate funding. As of date, the government is committed to highway contractors to the tune of about N10.4trillion while a total of about N765 billion are unpaid certificates for executed works.
â€œAs of October 2022, the ministry had a cumulative unpaid certificate in the sum of N765,017,139,752.92 for ongoing highway and bridge projects. Apart from the pressure of resources to pay, there is the inadequacy of annual budget provisions where N100m or N200m was provided for roads costing twenty or more billion.
â€œIn spite of all odds, 20 major highways projects have so far been completed in 2022 and are ready for commissioning. The total cost of the completed projects is in the sum of N444,322,123,808.61 and they cover a total length of 379.677km. Additionally, there are 59 major highways/bridges priority projects that are at an advanced level, to be completed within 2022-2023 with a total contract sum of N60,961,187,130.71,â€ he said.