Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has criticised the National Assembly for slashing budgetary allocations meant for Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, along other important project like Second Niger Bridge.
The lawmakers slashed the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and Second Niger Bridge from N31 billion to N10 billion and N15 billion to N10 billion respectively.
Whereas the same lawmakers raised their budgetary allocation from N115 billion in 2016 to N125 billion in 2017.
Civil rights organisations has however reacted to this move by lawmakers in slashing important projects, in favour of increasing their votes as a selfish.
Speaking with journalists, Fashola noted that what he has left in the budget is boreholes, primary health care centre. He added that meeting had to be arranged with the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, and that was why the budget signing was delayed.
“The abandoned project of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway we are asked to complete was slashed by the National Assembly from N31 billion to N10 billion. About N15 billion is owned to our contractors and they promised to shut down if not paid.
Another major projects slashed is the Second Niger Bridge, from N15 billion to N10 billion, and N3 billion was reduced from the budgetary allocation of Okene-Lokoja-Abuja road.
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Fashola, the immediate past governor of Lagos state, also accused the legislators for slashing budgetary allocations to major power projects.
“While people are complaining about the power supply, they also reduced allocation to Mambila power project. They also cut allocation for Bodo Bridge, that leads to Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas Station.
“It’s useless for budget to be unilaterally changed by the legislature after we defended it publicly.
While noting that it is the executive business to control machinery of revenue, including tax collection and relevant data from ministry of finance, Budget Office for physical planning, the minister said the lawmakers can not increase budget as they do not collect revenue to allow them implement budgets.