Power Supply: Fashola Blames Pipeline Vandalism, Says Work On Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Resumes Next Week
The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has attributed the poor electricity supply across Nigeria to attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta region by militants.
The Minister said this on Thursday at a forum organised by members of a civil society organisation in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Mr Fashola argued that one year was a short time for government to deliver on all its campaign promises, while giving an account of his term in office.
According to him, out of the 26 power plants built to generate electricity across the country, 23 depend on gas, lamenting that the activities of vandals in the southern region had made it impossible to power those plants.
However, some members of the civil society groups in the audience expressed displeasure with the Minister’s reason for the present condition of electricity supply in the country.
On the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, the minister said work on the project will resume next week.
The former governor of Lagos State said even though the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration had yet to release funds to the contractors, they were willing to return to site because they trusted the integrity of the new government.
Fashola stated, “In 2014, we spent N45bn on roads for the whole country and we spent N18bn on roads in 2015. Now, the fallout of meetings with our contractors generally is that they have not been paid for three years but budgets were made for the last three years.
“We have been having meetings with some contractors on the basis of our credibility, our collective integrity, saying to them go back to site.
“Our contractors will go back to site on Monday next week; they have told me they will return to the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
“They have not been paid but that is what change means, that this government is credible and believable. If we say we will pay, we will pay. And this is what you will see in places like Iheala and a few other places where we are intervening but what is important now is that we have met with all our contractors and identified contracts that have survived the budget, we have approved those contracts for funding and in the next few days to weeks, the disbursement will start for many of the roads.”