The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has revealed that the Federal Government needs at least N500 billion annually for the next 3 years to develop and fix its 35,000 kilometres road network, as work continues on 13,000 kilometres of the network.
The Minister also revealed that the FG has so far awarded 711 ongoing road contracts in different parts of the country.
While speaking during a media chat with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja, Fashola insisted that if other administrations in the past had shown similar commitment in developing road infrastructure like the current administration, most of the roads would have been completed.
“I think that a minimum of half a trillion every year over the next two, three years will be a strong support to really advance and complete as many as the 711 contracts. Again, people mistake what I said about 711 contracts to mean roads. No. For example, from Lagos to Ibadan expressway, we have one road but two contracts, one with JD, one with RCC.”
“On Benin/Lokoja, we have one road but we have five contractors. So, the totality of those contracts are made of 711 different contracts on many roads across the country, and the total road network now under construction or rehabilitation is little over 13,000 kilometers in different stages of repairs out of total Federal network of 35,000 kilometers,” Fashola said.
He pointed out that the Buhari led administration inherited the poor road networks that were abandoned by the previous administrations and resolved that they were going to complete as many of them as possible.
According to a report from Channels Television, Fashola disclosed that construction work on some of the roads started between 2006 and 2007, but the roads were not completed at a time that the country was earning more revenues, up to $100 per barrel at a time when the total budget of the country was N4 trillion.
He also argued that most of the Nigerian roads are not as bad as they are being painted, as the current administration has been engaging in the ongoing rehabilitation of the bad ones. He blamed the nonchalance of some Nigerians for the rapid decay of roads being constructed by the government.
What you should know
It can be recalled that the Federal Government had announced the setting up of a N15trillion infrastructure company in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Investment Authority, and the state governments, under the auspices of the National Economic Council and to be independently managed.
The initiative is to help close the infrastructural gap in order to aid productivity and economic growth.