Members of the Ethiopian Parliament are seeking answers from the Ministry of Urban and Infrastructure for the delay of multiple federal projects throughout the country.
The Ministry revealed its 10 month performance report to the Parliament on Thursday.
In its 12th regular session, MPs importuned the Ministry about the delay, interruption of project completion, and unexpected time and cost overruns of housing and road construction projects.
Genet Ketema, an MP, while presenting questions collected from the Urban, Infrastructure and Transport Affairs Standing Committee, mentioned a zero performance record on 10/90, 20/80, and 40/60 housing schemes in the current budget year, despite the Ministry planning to build over 22,000 condominium houses during the period.
Similarly, the Committee raised concerns over delayed federal government construction projects, including the national theater and civil aviation office building, Federal Documents Authentication and Registration Agency, Ethiopian Metrology and the former government’s communication office construction projects.
The standing committee raised cases related to the quality of road construction and a lack of clear standards for projects, especially in Oromia, Amhara, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region, South West Region, and other regions as well.
According to the Minister of Urban and Infrastructure, Chaltu Sani, at least 768 federal government projects were paused due to the price escalation of construction inputs during the previous ten months of the budget year.
Chaltu said the government is considering the severity of the issue. The Minister of Finance together with the national macro-economic team and other relevant government offices, have conducted an assessment about the resumption of these projects, according to Chaltu.
The final assessment indicated the need to install over 99 billion birr to adjust the inflated prices of the project.
The Ethiopian Road Administration director, Habtamu Tegegne (Eng.) responding to some of the questions raised by MPs said, “We are struggling not to cut out road projects due to the minimum flow of finances to go to road projects.”
Habtamu pointed out the war in northern Ethiopia as a critical reason for the interruption and delay of major federal road projects in the previous months of the Ethiopian budget year.
However, he lamented the lack of clear directives for compensation and resettlement, price escalation, and absence of efficient contractors during the tender process to award project constructions, as critical issues.