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Fani-Kayode blasts Fashola over denial of bad roads  in Nigeria



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A former Minister and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Femi Fani-Kayode, has blasted the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, over his statement that Nigerian roads are not that bad as being portrayed by the people. He condemned the Minister of Works and Housing for saying that “Nigerian roads are not that bad”. He chided the minister for his limitations in the running of the ministries under his supervision.

Femi Fani-Kayode on Thursday declared on his twitter handle: “I have always believed that Tunde is shallow, limited, unreliable, intellectually dishonest, overrated, loyal only to his own ambition and not too bright. He also has a big chip on his shoulder. With these words he has proved it”.

Fashola, speaking to State House Correspondents on Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council meeting, had acknowledged that most road projects in the country would have been completed but for funding challenges. Fashola trying to defend the seeming inability of the federal government to rehabilitate bad roads or construct new roads across the country, said that Nigerian roads are not too bad.

The Works and Housing Minister highlighted:  “The roads are not as bad as they are often portrayed. I know that this is going to be your headline, but the roads are not that bad.

“When I come here to announce that a particular amount was approved for a contract that doesn’t mean the amount has been paid contrary to what you suggest.

“You are mindful also that Minister of Finance, different arms of government are escalating the fiscal challenges we face as a nation in trying to fund the budget.

“You are also mindful that the last few budgets in Nigeria for almost 20 years have been deficit budgets and these are terminologies that are realities and I think we should acquaint ourselves with if we are not just to report the news but also educate the public.

“You must also be aware that between awarding a contract and also mobilizing to the site there is a distance. First of all, we have to have an agreement that is the relationship between the ministry of works or any other ministry and the ministry of justice, then, there is a role that banks play, they have to give a guarantee.

“Building materials – rocks, laterite, quarry, iron rods have to be ordered, construction companies don’t keep them.

“The process of producing blasting rocks requires approval from the office of ministers of justice and even the office of the NSA to get approval to get dynamite. All of these are the things that go on. So, the point that I am making to you is that there is a distance between approval, implementation, actual construction and the result.”

Fashola assured that construction of roads will resume when the rain stops.

“So, what we experienced in this year is unusual, it’s not a good time to be in the transport system. We also want this season to quickly end so that we can go back to work during the dry weather.”