21 October 2020 by James Itodo……..
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fasola, says
the Federal Government is currently owing construction firms handling 711 road projects across the Country, the sum of N392billion.
The debt according to the Minister is far higher than the N276billion , proposed as budgetary allocation for road projects in 2021.
Fashola who stated this in Abuja during the budget defense before the Senate Committee on Works said “with the situation on ground , a stop has come for new projects and need for prioritizing of existing ones towards achieving completion of some of them ” .
Accordimg to him, the sum of N6.62trillion is needed by Government for funding the 711 road projects across the Country but resources for that are not available now which makes prioritizing very important .
” We do not have the resources that we need to fix our road infrastructure at once.
The very reason why we need to prioritize what we want to do” he said.
He however explained to the committee that in order to remedy the situation , the 711 projects have been categorized into four different areas of funding and execution .
The first of such categorization he said is the Highway Projects Financed with the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund ( PIDF) which covers projects such as Lagos – Shagamu – Ibadan dual carriage way , 2nd Niger Bridge and rehabilitation of Abuja – Kaduna – Kano dual carriage way.
The second of such categorization according to the Minister , are Highway Projects Financed with the Sovereign Sukuk Fund totalling 44 roads across the six geo- political zones .
Third in the categorization the Minister added , are Highway Projects Financed under the Tax Credit some of which are : Lokoja- Obajana – Kabba – Ilorin road, Apapa – Wharf Road in Lagos State , Apapa – Oworonsoki – Ojota Expressway among others.
Those in the fourth category he stated further, are Highway Projects funded from Multilateral Loans .
He specifically informed the Federal lawmakers that the Ministry has given priority to 18 roads/bridges projects that have already attained some appreciable physical achievement for completion within a 12 -15 months period ( December 2021) .