FG owes contractors N230b, says Works minister

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The Federal Ministry of Works owes contractors N230 bil­lion for outstanding certificates that have been verified, the Min­ister, Mr Mike Onolememen said on Monday.

He also disclosed that there is no capital allocation to parastat­als under his ministry, including the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), thereby in­creasing the fears that federal roads across the country might further worsen in 2015.

Onolememen who disclosed this while defending the 2015 budget proposal of his ministry and parastatals before the Senate Committee on Works, pointed out that N39.5 billion was the total allocation to them in 2015, out of which N11 billion is capital and N300 million for recurrent for the main ministry only.

He also said out of the total budgetary allocation to the minis­try, N20 billion is for recurrent of the parastatals.

He lamented that the budget of the ministry, which used to be at the ratio of 1-5 for recurrent and capital respectively, is now at 1-0.6, saying this is not enough to execute projects of the ministry.

He explained that given this financial challenges, the minis­try has decided to focus on only 33 projects out of 210 projects it has, which included only roads and bridges, which he said, must be ongoing and already awarded roads and bridge contracts.

According to the Minister, “aside the ministry’s capital bud­get proposal slashed from the pro­jected N100 billion to just N11 bil­lion by the Ministry of Finance in view of economic realities on ground, zero allocations were made for capital projects of FER­MA and office of Surveyor -Gen­eral of the Federation (OSGF)”.

“No provisions have been made for other Departments of the Ministry such as Road and Bridge Design Departments, Me­chanical and Electrical Depart­ment as well as Service Depart­ment”, he added.

The Minister also disclosed that since 2011, the Ministry has always been owed outstanding budgeted funds, totaling N203.392 billion by the end of the 2014 fis­cal year.

He said: “Only N45, 682, 844, 395.00 billion was released for the Works Ministry out of 2014 capital appropriation of N98, 814, 368, 704 billion. This leaves a bal­ance of N53, 131, 524, 309.00 not released as at December 2014.

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