***To rely on domestic borrowing to finance proposal
Barely 10 days to end of 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Senate to approve N819.5b supplementary budget for the 2022 fiscal year to fix infrastructure destroyed by the flood disaster that ravaged the country recently
The supplementary appropriation as requested by the President in a letter read at plenary by the President of Senate, Ahmad Lawan, is meant for the capital expenditure component of the 2022 budget with increase in deficit to N8.17trillion.
President Buhari added that he will embark on additional domestic borrowing to finance the proposed N819.5b supplementary budget.
The letter reads: “The year 2022 has witnessed the worse flood incident in recent history which has caused massive destruction of farm lands at a point already closed to harvest season.
“This may compound the situation of food security and nutrition in the country. The flood has also devastated road infrastructure across the 36 states and the FCT as well as bridges nationwide that are critical for movement of goods and services.
“The water sector was equally affected by the flood and there is a need to complete some ongoing critical projects that have already achieved about 85 percentage completion.
“The nine critical projects proposed in the sector cuts across water supply , dam projects and irrigation projects nationwide.
“I have approved a supplementary budget of 2022 appropriation of N819.536 Billion, all of which are capital expenditure.
“The supplementary budget will be financed through additional domestic borrowings which will raise the budget deficit for 2022 to N8.17 .trillion and deficit to GDP ratio to 4.43%”
Being a proposal meant for a year remaining 10 days to end, the President of the Senate hurriedly forwarded it to Senate Committees on Appropriation , Finance, Works, Water Resources and Agriculture for expeditious consideration.
Senator Umahi pomises to deliver 15-year shelf-life insurance for projects
***As second Niger Bridge faces challenges
The Federal Ministry of Works will henceforth include a provision for a 15-year shelf-life insurance guarantee for projects and a maximum of 5% Variation of Price (VoP) Clause in the contracts.
The minister in charge of the ministry Senator David Umahi, made the disclosure during the 2024 budget hearing before the joint committee on Works on Monday in Abuja.
Regarding the use of concrete and asphalt pavement, the Minister indicatef that the Ministry’s new policy aims to prevent excessive cost increases in contracts.
This was as the minister indicated that the Niger Bridge which was completed and handed over to government recently will be “almost inoperative” unless two Bypasses in Asaba and Onitsha are constructed.
Umahi said the bridge is today faced with serious challenges of the need to construct the Approach roads 2A and 2B which were awarded by FEC but have funding challenges to take-off.
Umahi said the remaining two Bypasses in Asaba (2A) and Onitsha (2B) awarded to Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and Reynods Construction Company Nigeria Limited respectively, during the last Administration were initially estimated at about N200b but with the current inflationary trend, the cost may jack up to N260billion.
“There is no funding for these projects and the projects have not taken off. Let me note that without these Bypasses, the completed 2nd Niger Bridge will be almost inoperative.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Works Senator Barinada Mpigi (PDP, Rivers South-East), urged the minister to oversee and ensure that the ministry’s budget aligns with the needs and demands of Nigerians.
Meanwhile, a total sum of N657,228,251,596 was proposed for 2024. Of the amount, N566,466,977,361 was proposed for capital budget for the main Ministry of Works, while N51,282,456,911 was proposed for Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and N104,039,920 was proposed for African Regional Institute for Geo-Spacial Information Science and Technology AFRIGIST.
Gov Bago flags off construction of 1,500km of roads in Niger
***To gulp N1Trillion in four years
The Niger State Governor, Rt. Hon. Umaru Mohammed Bago has flagged off the construction of 1,500 kilometers of roads across the state with the ground breaking of 202 kilometers of roads in Minna, the state capital.
Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony on Thursday, the governor said his administration will spend N1Trillion in the next four years on roads construction across the 25 local government areas of the state.
Governor Bago disclosed that the road projects are part of his urban renewal programme, stressing that apart from the four major towns of Kontagora, Bida, Minna and Suleja, the remaining local government areas will get five kilometers of road each.
He also said his administration will take some deliberate steps towards fixing some federal roads in the state that in deplorable condition, adding that there are good number of Federal roads spread across the state and that his administration will not hesitate to fix them.
The Governor urged the youths in the state to take advantage of the massive road projects soon to commence to gainfully engage themselves as all the materials and human resources will be sourced locally by the contractors.
He added that the state government through the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises will empower those that will trade around the construction sites, stressing that every segments of the society will benefit from the road projects.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Suleiman Umar disclosed that the project which has a total of 202.4Km consisting of 22 different roads and categorized in two phases with phase one covering eight roads while phase two will cover 14 roads.
He said it is in addition to five interchanges and flyovers at strategic locations and new bypass roads that will open up the State Capital.
While describing the project as one of the most ambitious urban development projects in the history of the State, the Commissioner reiterated that the Ministry will ensure strict monitoring and supervision to ensure timely completion of the projects.
The Speaker, Niger State House of Assembly, Barr. Abdulmalik Muhammed commended the Governor for his unwavering determination to bringing the needed transformation in the state and promised the continuous cooperation and support of the legislative arm for the benefit of all in the state.
The Managing Director, of China Civil Engineering Corporation (CCECC), Mr. David Wang while commending the resilience of Governor Umaru Bago, described him as an ambitious man who is focused on changing the face of Niger State through massive infrastructural development.
Mr Wang promised to collaborate with relevant stakeholders and ensure harmonious relationships with the locals for timely and qualitative projects.
Earlier, the Emir of Minna, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Umar Faruk Bahago, commended the governor for his giant strides, especially in the urban renewal policy of his administration as he pledged continued support of the Minna emirate in particular and the entire Traditional Institution in the state for his policies.
Kogi Burnt Assembly Complex: Govt hands over renovation to contractor
By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.
Kogi State Government has handed over the renovation of its burnt House of Assembly complex to a private company, Josmud Nigeria Company Limited with an eight-week ultimatum for completion of the job.
The state Commissioner for Works and Housing, Hon. Sampson Bako handed over the contract documents to the Company in Lokoja.
Bako said that Governor Yahaya Bello was desirous of seeing members of the 8th Assembly resume legislative business at the Assembly complex on return from their break.
The Works and Housing Commissioner who described the design for the renovation as impressive, told the contractor to ensure quality job as specified in the contract document.
Bako warned against any form of shoddy job, stressing that the Ministry would monitor the work closely and not hesitate to stop the contract should any defects be found or discovered during execution of the job.
Mr Joshua Oluwasegun, Chief Executive Officer of the Company in his remarks, commended Governor Yahaya Bello’s government for the confidence reposed in the Company.
He asserted that he was aware of the Governor’s taste for solid and quality job as he assured that the company would deliver within the stipulated time.
Speaker of the House, Rt Hon. Umar Aliyu Yusuf commended Gov. Bello for his prompt response to demands for renovation of the Complex after interfacing with him.
He said that the governor had promised to give the building a face-lift to curtail the inconveniences being experienced at the Speaker’s Lodge where Members currently carry out their legislative functions.
Yusuf reiterated the Assembly members’ resolve to ensure robust legislative activities for enhancement of good governance in the state.
It would be recalled that the House of Assembly gallery was gutted by fire in the early hours of October 10, 2022, forcing the Lawmakers to shift base to the Speaker’s Lodge to carry out their statutory businesses.
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