- Works and housing minister, Fashola, said the federal government is currently working on 524 road projects
- Fashola explained that the government is giving priority to roads that open up the economy and contribute to the ease of doing business
- The minister added that the roads are being funded by the Presidential Infrastructural Development Fund and Sukuk bond
Babatunde Fashola, the minister of works and housing, has said that a total of 524 road projects are ongoing in the different geo-political zones in the country.
The minister disclosed this while addressing the House of Representatives Committee on Works chaired by Ahmed Birchi in Abuja.
According to Fashola, there were four multilateral-funded road projects, 81 under the Presidential Infrastructural Development Fund and 45 others which are being financed under the Sukuk bond, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
He said that the ministry was prioritising roads that open up the economy and contribute to the ease of doing business.
The minister noted that the country would develop faster if the government could ensure that there was no failure on roads that stretched from ports to border cities.
“What remains is to finish; the real challenge for us and our recommendation is to adopt the policy statement of the president and focus on whatever resources we have towards completing as many of those projects as possible," Fashola said.
He added that a funding gap of ₦255 billion was required to “ideally” fund some of the major roads while also stating that the ₦157 billion 2020 budget allocation was inadequate.
Fashola said that ₦2.93 billion was pending in unpaid certificates under the multilateral funded projects, while ₦306 billion was the amount for unpaid certificates for completed road projects.
On private sector investment in road projects, the minister, however, cautioned that the government must not play politics with such investment.
He also said that the ministry undertook a traffic count on strategic roads nationwide which supported the argument of the toll gate system on Nigerian roads.
“For the first time in 10 years, the Ministry of Works undertook a traffic count nationwide on strategic roads; we completed it in 2017.
“What you see (in the document) before you report; so where you see Average Daily Traffic (ADT), the top item on the far right is Enugu-Abakaliki and it shows ADT is 20,746 vehicles.
“The projected traffic in 20 years is what is under it and if you look through all those columns from the left, Lagos-Ibadan, Ogere Northside the ADT there is reported as 25.1 thousand and projected to rise to 45,000 vehicles.
“This (document) provides more information for those who make the argument that if you toll the roads you get all the money,” he said.
He added that the busiest road in the country was the Third Mainland Bridge with vehicular traffic of 117,000 plus average daily traffic.
NAN reports that the Ministry of Works and Housing got the highest projected allocation of N262 billion from the N10. 33 trillion budget estimates presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to a joint session of the National Assembly on Tuesday, October 8.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the Federal Executive Council meeting, on Wednesday, September 25, approved the sum of N311.47 billion for the completion of some ongoing road projects across the country.
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