The power arm of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, under the supervision of Babatunde Fashola, did not implement any capital project in the 2017 budget.
The minister cited “late passage of the budget” as the prime reason for the non-implementation.
He made this disclosure on Wednesday when he appeared before the Senate committee on works to defend the 2018 budget of the ministry.
Responding to questions from Barnabas Gemade, Benue-APC, who asked why there was zero performance of capital projects in 2017, the minister said the late passage of the budget delayed procurement plans in most cases.
“The 2017 budget was passed in June. The procurement law requires a procurement plan which took till September. In following this law, the first release was in August.
“Most of the projects were going through procurement formalities such as tax identity, contract terms and even construction companies went on holidays so there were so many things.”
The minister however could not mention how many of the projects were not implemented stating that even his Director of Planning could not give a definite answer.
He further pleaded with the committee to allow him bring a detailed report.
“It is a tough task,” Mr. Fashola said. “We may be allowed to submit those details. The ending solution which has not found favour is the one that should be appropriated. Once you appropriate a project in a particular budget, it should not be lined up in another year.”
The former Governor of Lagos State told the lawmakers that Nigeria could not finance new projects every year due to its “enormous nature.”
He added, “Most of these roads are 50 km to 100km. I ask in your states, 5km takes 24 months then if we have more in a budget, we cannot finish it. It is not what we want. Our resources are not increasing in an exponential manner to our projects.”
In its resolution, the committee agreed that the ministry roll over projects that were not procured in 2017 to 2018 budget and represent a new report in a week’s time.