By Ikenna Uwadileke
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara on Tuesday known as for the completion of the Second Niger Bridge and Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, saying that they’re pivotal to nationwide growth.
Dogara made the decision whereas declaring open a two-day investigative listening to on the character of the contract or concession association on the initiatives, organised by the House Committee on Works.
Represented by the Deputy Minority Leader, Rep. Chukwuka Onyema, Dogara mentioned that the investigative listening to turned crucial on condition that the initiatives have been fixed ugly options in nationwide discourse.
While stating that proactive steps have to be taken to make sure early completion of the initiatives, the Speaker mentioned that the initiatives represent important arterial community for the nation’s highway transport system.
“They have change into media sensations and extremely politicized to the extent that it now appears that we’re enjoying video games with the lives of our individuals.
“Past administrations have celebrated progress ostensibly made on them whereas reaching little or nothing in actuality,’’ Dogara mentioned.
According to the Speaker, the House noticed that contracts for the initiatives continued to characteristic in annual budgets with none seeming indicators of their completion or complete quantity required to take action.
“The Minister for Power, Works and Housing acknowledged that funds for the initiatives in 2017 Appropriation Act have been decreased, so that they run the danger of changing into white elephant initiatives as a result of they aren’t underneath concession or Public-Private Partnership association.’’
He added that the way of execution of the initiatives was not in accordance with any outlined technique of initiatives execution.
“The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority had spent about N18 billion on the Second Niger Bridge because the financier throughout their early levels.
“As a results of these observations, the House, by decision, urged the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to supply funds within the 2018 price range for the completion of the initiatives,’’ the Speaker mentioned.
Dogara famous that the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway had change into a topic of litigations as the federal government vacillates between executing it via PPP association and direct funding.
“Unfortunately, the identical affliction is seeping into the execution of the Second Niger Bridge.
“If the House of Representatives, in its oversight accountability, doesn’t step in at the moment, we run the danger of continuous this path and the rehabilitation of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will stay a mirage and the Second Niger Bridge won’t ever get constructed,’’ Dogara mentioned.