Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, has revealed that the ministry’s N100 billion proposed budget for 2015 has been cut down to N11 billion by the Ministry of Finance.
Onolememen, stated that the finance ministry took the drastic action due to “the economic realities on the ground,” Punch reports.The minister further expressed concerns that “only 33 out of the 210 ongoing road projects had been provided for in view of the lean allocation to the ministry.”
He also stated that the budget was insufficient to encourage contractors to sustain significant progress on their respective work sites.
In addition, Onolememen stated that since 2011, the ministry of works had always been owed outstanding budgeted funds.
“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 not released as of December 2014. It is important to emphasise that the performance of the ministry would have been considerably enhanced if the outstanding budgeted funds of N53.131bn had been released to the ministry.More importantly, if the cumulative outstanding budgeted funds of N203, 392, 075, 947.25 for the period spanning 2011 to 2014 had been released, the total indebtedness would have been brought down from N230bn to N27bn,” he said.