The Senate has described as “fallacy of the highest order”, a statement credited to the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, SAN, on the state of the roads across the country,
According to the Red Chamber, the Minister had alleged that the National Assembly members should be held responsible for the poor state of the Federal roads in Benue State.
The Senate accused the Minister of trying to incite members of the public against the Federal Lawmakers by his allegation.
The Senate said this in a statement by its Spokesperson, Ajibola Basiru, titled: “Senate debunks Minister’s claim on budgetary allocations to road construction”, issued in Abuja, on Sunday.
The Red Chamber stated that it takes exception to the statement credited to Fashola, that the National Assembly should be held responsible for the dilapidated state of Federal roads in Benue State.
Basiru said that the Minister was quoted to have made the allegation in his office, in Abuja, during a courtesy call on him by Retired Generals, and ‘other Leaders of thought’ from Benue South Senatorial District, led by Air Vice Marshal Morgan, on Monday.
The Benue State Elders were said to have visited Fashola, to complain about the deplorable state of roads in the Senatorial District.
Basiru stated that the National Assembly could not, and should not be held responsible for the dilapidated state of roads, whether in Benue State, or in any part of the country.
The Senate stated that it would not want to engage in any unnecessary altercation with the Minister, but said that it had to speak up, because the issue of Roads infrastructure is important and controversial.
The statement read in part: “It is necessary to put all the records straight, so as to disabuse the minds of the unsuspecting public about the acts of the National Assembly.
“The records are needed to be set right so that the two arms of government should not be seen as working at cross purposes in the course of delivering dividends and good governance to electorate.
“Putting the records straight, the Senate gave the figures of the 2020 proposal for capital expenditure as N265,868,037,093 billion by the Executive which the National Assembly passed.
“The Executive later brought revised allocation of N256, 734,983,667 billion which we also appropriated.
“As we talk, even in the budget proposal for 2021, the Executive proposed a capital expenditure of N363,266,425,976 billion
“The Senate then wondered where the Hon. Minister got his figure of N600 billion which he said was the figure proposed to the National Assembly by his ministry and which was allegedly not supported or approved by the National Assembly.
“The Senate, therefore, invites Nigerians and specifically the Ministers guests from Benue State South Senatorial District to note that “figures do not lie”.”
The Senate listed three road constructions that are ongoing in Benue South, to be Oju – Adum Okuku road at N91,180,000, Oturkpo Township road at N357,200,000, and Oju/ Loko – Oweto bridge at a cost of N357,200,000.
Basiru added: “On the Minister’s allusion and or allegation to prioritising constituency projects over other projects, the Senate affirmed that the Minister was merely calling a pity party and being sentimental.
”The (Fashola’s) statement was made to set the National Assembly on collision course with the people they are democratically representing.
“It should be emphasised therefore that never has allocations specifically meant for other projects ever been diverted to constituency projects as constituency projects are having allocations in the budget.”
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