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FG owing road contractors N306 billion as public transport owners back toll gate 

Contractors working on the federal road projects are being owed N306 billion by the Federal Government. 

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FG owing road contractors N306 billion as public transport owners back toll gate

President Muhammadu Buhari‘s administration is reportedly spending more on subsiding fuel than it does on construction of roads and bridges across the country as contractors working on the federal road projects are being owed N306 billion by the Federal Government.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola while speaking on the activities of the Ministry. He said the government spends about N1 trillion on fuel subsidy, an amount that could be put to better use by the Ministry of works and housing.

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Fashola made this comment during a meeting with the Public Transport Owners of Nigeria Association. He told the members of the association that a lot of work was ongoing on federal roads nationwide but the budget of the Ministry of Works is not fully funded, Punch reported.

State governments own most bad roads - Finance Minister says, FMWH Director explains why Nigerian roads may remain bad for long 

VAT increase, loan to aid work: He explained that the gap in funding is why VAT (Value Added Tax) increment and FG borrowing were essential. Fashola said as at October, FG was owing road contractors N306 billion, but only N73 billion was available, yet more bills were coming in.

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“I heard you talk about tolling roads and bridges. Well, as you said, government is actually spending a lot of money on subsidising fuel. And that is a lot of money from government to spend on subsidy.

“I would have loved that that money came to the Ministry of Works, but the numbers I was trying to get for you is that for over four years, between 2015 and 2018, the entire amount we got was not up to N1tn in actual cash in this ministry.”

[READ MORE: Fashola stripped of power, as Adamu-Adamu, Ngige, others retain portfolios(Opens in a new browser tab)]

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He added, “The budget, yes! But not all of the budget is funded. So if we had N1tn to spend on Nigerian roads we would be in a much better position. As of October, we were owing contractors N306bn and more bills are coming in and all we got was N73 billion.

“And this is the country where some people are of the opinion that the government shouldn’t raise VAT. Some people are also of the opinion that government should not even borrow. So I think it is important for those of you here to also come out and take a position.”

Fashola didn’t rule out the construction of tollgates on federal roads, but he stated that when a policy had been drafted, Nigerians would be informed.

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“When it is time to start; of course, we will articulate a clear policy for the information of Nigerians. That is the much I will say about that,” he stated.

Public transport owners back toll gate: The decision to return toll gates to federal road years after former President, Olusegun Obasanjo removed them, has been supported by the Public Transport Owners of Nigeria Association.

State governments own most bad roads - Finance Minister says

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The President of the association, Isaac Uhunmwagho, during the meeting with Fashola said the Federal Government has their backing. The association, which consists of key inter-state transporters in Nigeria, however, said if the toll gates were to return to the highways, it should be placed on roads linking Lagos and Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt and Abuja and Abuja and Kano.

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Patricia

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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Real Estate and Construction

Nigerian Real Estate and COVID in 19 Slides

Validate investment cases and focus energies on property sectors that are more resistant to shocks.

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Nigeria is rapidly approaching an economic crisis as the COVID-19 global pandemic has put the world on lockdown and sent Brent crude oil prices to a 20-year low. Spurred by lower global demand and reliance on oil exports for 90% of its foreign exchange income, Nigeria’s economy and her fragile currency are being pushed to their breaking point.

In this report, we will focus on the impact this pandemic will have on the real estate market in Nigeria. So far, key themes include mass concessions, re-negotiation and restructuring activity, slowed decision making, stretched out project deliveries due to the lockdown and more. After outlining the potential property sector losers, hospitality and retail most especially, alongside potential winners (industrial and healthcare), we discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individual property sectors and the direction of rentals, capital markets and more.

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Within this uncertain environment, we recommend that market participants including asset owners, real estate service providers and others stress test their businesses at varying levels of reduced income, use the downtime for market research to validate investment cases and focus energies on property sectors that are more resistant to shocks.

Download the report through the link in the header.

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Appointments

IMF appoints Ceda Ogada as new director and secretary of the fund 

Before joining the IMF, Ogada worked at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

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The International Monetary fund (IMF) has announced the appointment of Mr. Ceda Ogada as the Secretary of the Fund and Director of the Secretary’s Department with effect from September 1, 2020, following the retirement of the former Secretary, Mr Jianhai Lin. 

This was disclosed in a press statement by IMF on Wednesday, July 15, 2020. 

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While making the announcement, Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said, Ceda has outstanding institutional knowledge, strategic and intellectual heft, and people leadership. His unparalleled ability to bring people together, combined with his profound appreciation of the Fund’s institutional history and legal principles, as well as a strong service orientation, will help the Fund to even more effectively serve our member countries in a very challenging economic environment.” 

Mr. Ogada joined the IMF’s Legal Department in 1999 and rose through the ranks to become Deputy General Counsel in 2014. During this time, he has worked on virtually all aspects of the Fund’s work, including advising on the governance of the Fund, on country operations, helping to develop Fund policies and implementation guidance, and providing technical assistance to member countries.  

According to the statement, ‘’Some of the key projects that he has worked on include the Fund’s enhanced policy to address governance and corruption issues, ensuring the adequacy of the Fund’s lending resources, reforms in lending policy such as the establishment of the Flexible Credit Line (FCL) and the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT), reviews on surveillance policy and capacity development strategy and transparency, archives and communications policies.’ 

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The new Secretary of the fund was heavily involved in the work on euro area crisis countries during the global financial crisis. Recently, he has led the Legal Department in promoting good governance and transparency in several countries, together with the use of emergency financing for the COVID-19 crisis. 

Before he joined IMF, Mr. Ogada worked at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development as a legal expert and also before that he was in private legal practice in the United States. He holds a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School and a B.A. in history from Dartmouth College. Mr. Ogada is a citizen of Kenya. 

 

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Economy & Politics

Just in: Suspended EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu, finally released from detention

Magu’s lawyer confirmed his release from the custody of the DSS.

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EFCC to help AMCON recover bad debts

The suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has been released from police custody after about 10 days in detention.

According to a monitored report, this was confirmed by his lawyer, Tosin Ojaomo, who said that the EFCC boss is no longer under custody.

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The suspended EFCC boss was invited by the presidential probe panel headed by Ayo Salami, a retired President of the Appeal Court to the Presidential Villa in Abuja on July 6 over allegations bordering on corruption and financial misconduct.

He was later moved to Area 10 Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) of the police in Abuja where he has since been detained.

Just earlier today, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, asked Magu, to direct his bail application to the presidential probe panel.

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This was in response to a request by Mr Oluwatosin Ojaomo, Magu’s legal representative, who asked the IGP to grant bail to his client on self-recognisance after the suspended EFCC chief had spent four days in custody.

But in a letter dated July 14, 2020, and addressed to Mr Ojaomo, the IGP said the police force is not investigating and detaining Magu, so, it cannot grant the bail request.

It also advised the lawyer to redirect his request to the chairman of the presidential probe panel for appropriate action.

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