East West Road may be ready in 2019, says minister
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Usani, says the East West Road would not be completed earlier than 2019 due to paucity of funds.
Briefing newsmen at the weekend in Calabar after the zonal meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) hosted by the party’s Zonal Vice Chairman, Ntufam Hiliard Eta, the minister stated: “Till this very moment, I have not received money regarding the 2017 budget of my ministry. If you have been watching the telecast, you will understand the efforts we are making to get extra budgetary provisions for infrastructural development.
“So, if it is not possible to do it now, it does not mean that we will not do it. In fact, the Vice President recently directed the Minister of Budget to review funding upward for the East West road project.
“So, we are discussing that with the minister to make an impact. So, it is not a political issue. This government is full of people who would not say what they do not want to do.”
He went on: “The East West Road cannot be completed before 2019 even if they give us N50 billion now, because outstanding certificates are already in excess of N30 billion. I will not deceive the public. Deception has led us to where we are. And until we learn to be truthful, it may be impossible for us to revive our cultural values.”
Usain regretted that the project laid fallow between 2006 when it was awarded and 2015 amid huge oil receipts during the period.
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