President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that all ongoing federal projects in the South East will be funded, saying that the seven-month delay in passing this year’s budget will not serve as an excuse.
The president gave the assurance during a meeting with South-East Governors and Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, on Wednesday, 21 November 2018, at State House, in Abuja.
He pledged that the Federal Government would sustain the support to the South-East in terms of infrastructure.
“I assure you that we are doing our best and will not default on the agreements signed on ongoing projects,” the president told the delegation, led by Deputy the Senate President.
He explained that part of the noticeable problems in the delay in the execution of the capital projects was caused by the budget hold-up.
“When you sign, and you don’t pay, they (contractors) can legally jerk up their costs. This is part of the problem.”
“The infrastructure budget is a deficit budget. The borrowing plan was only approved three weeks ago and all ministers and departments of government have been instructed to forge ahead. We must not find excuses for delaying the projects.”
“Developing infrastructure is the best thing we can do. When the roads are okay, the rails are established and there is power, Nigerians will flourish in their businesses,” he said.
On the undulating surface of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, the President assured that it would be addressed in the new budget.
He also spoke of government’s serious interest in the new Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri standard gauge railway which traverses several states, including those in the South East.
Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, who spoke on behalf of the governors, said they came specifically to thank the president for the award of the contract for the major component of the second Niger Bridge at the cost of N206 billion.