FG releases N504bn out of N890bn for Roads

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The Federal Government released a total of N504.1bn out of the N890bn that was appropriated for the construction and rehabilitation of federal roads across the country in three years. It was gathered that the N504.1bn was the total sum for capital releases to the Federal Ministry of Power, Works & Housing in 2016, 2017 and 2018 for the works sector. On June 24, 2019, The PUNCH exclusively reported that Federal Government roads were still in disrepair despite the N757.48bn that was budgeted for the roads between 2015 and 2018. Providing clarifications in a document that was made available to our correspondent by the FMPWH on Wednesday in Abuja, the ministry stated that all it got as capital releases for works in 2016, 2017 and 2018 was N504.1bn, instead of the N890bn appropriated for it. The ministry also noted that the 2015 appropriation for works was meagre, adding that this was increased when the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office. The FMPWH said, “It is pertinent to recall that the 2015 appropriation for the works sector was in the paltry sum of N18.132bn for all the ministry’s highway projects. This situation made most of the contractors to abandon their sites, retrench their personnel and shut down their operations. “However, the appropriation for 2016, 2017 and 2018 were in the sums of N260bn, N274bn and N356bn while the releases were in the sums of N198.3bn, N177bn and N128.784bn respectively. These funds were expended on both inherited and new projects awarded by the Federal Government.” The ministry stated that it managed 34,000km of federal roads spread across the six geo-political zones of the country.

It noted that with the funding requirements needed to restore the critical infrastructure, the Federal Government prioritized the projects to facilitate connectivity and to enhance socio-economic activities. It added that the improved funding since 2016 ensured that contractors returned back to site and projects that were hitherto abandoned due to inadequate funding were revived. On the status of the ministry’s activities on some specific roads, it said the Gusau-Dansadau Road was a state road belonging to the Zamfara State government and was under the purview of the state. The FMPWH said the Oyo-lseyin-Ago Are-Saki Road in Oyo State had no budgetary provision, adding that the two substandard bridges at Km11 and Km25.6 along the road were, however, being procured by the ministry due to the socio-economic importance of the route. On the lbadan-lfe Road in Oyo State, it said the road was being maintained by the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency and its reconstruction was under procurement process by the ministry. The FMPWH said, “Osogbo-llesha Road in Osun State is a federal project and the contractor, Messrs Horizon Nigeria Limited, is currently working there. “Makurdi-Aliade-Otukpo Road in Benue State has an on-going contract that involves the dualisation of Otukpo Township Road and rehabilitation of the remaining stretch up to Aliade being executed by M/s Rockbridge Nigeria Limited with 11km completed.” It added, “FERMA is maintaining the Makurdi-Aliade section.

The road between Makurdi-Otukpo-9th Mile has been awarded by this administration to Messrs China-Habour Nigeria Limited and construction work has commenced.” “The Makurdi-Naka-Ankpa Road in Benue State has just been awarded to Gilmor Nigeria Limited by the Federal Government for reconstruction. Lagos-Badagry-Seme Road in Lagos State has an expansion and reconstruction project from Eric-Moore to Okokomaiko being executed by the Lagos State Government.” The ministry explained that the Okokomaiko-Agbara section was under special maintenance recently awarded by FERMA, while the expansion/reconstruction of Agbara-Badagry-Seme Border section had been awarded to Messrs. CGC Nig. Limited for reconstruction by the Federal Government. It said the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway in Lagos had been awarded to Messrs. Dangote Industries Limited for reconstruction under the Federal Government tax credit scheme and works had commenced on the road. It went on to state that the Akure-Ado Ekiti Road was being designed for reconstruction by the ministry, adding that the Yahe-Wanakom-Benue State Border Road was being designed for reconstruction by the ministry. On the Ejigbo-lwo Road in Osun State, the FMPWH said the road was not a federal road. The ministry said the Suleja-Minna Road in Niger State had an ongoing contract awarded by the Federal Government to Messrs Salini Nigeria Limited for dualisation and this was one of the Sukuk funded highway projects. The ministry assured the public that efforts were being made by the Federal Government to sustain the progress on the reconstruction of the federal roads network.

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