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Thursday, October 31

Tunde Fashola: N287 billion inadequate to complete Nigeria’s 540 roads

Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has told the National Assembly that the over N287 billion total allocation for his Ministry is inadequate to attend to all the 540 projects across the country.
Consequently, the government has resolved to stagger the projects, complete some of them and put them to use with limited resources.
Addressing the joint session of the National Assembly during his budget defence in Abuja, Fashola said that the focus of President Muhammadu Buhari administration is to complete all the uncompleted projects in the country.
He pointed out that eventhough the budget size has increased since 2015 from N4 trillion to N10 trillion, the source of revenue has not increased.
“The major source of our revenue still remains oil and I also want to point out that the budget size of the county has increased between 2015 and now. In 2015, the budget size was about N4 trillion and now it is N10 trillion. And the reality is that our revenue is not increasing at the same pace as our expressed commitment to spend. So that imposes a choice. Our own proposal is that, given the liabilities we have which I have spoken about and the amount approved in the appropriation bill now pending before you, we are forced to make choice,” he said.
He reminded the lawmakers that the focus of the president is to complete all the uncompleted projects. So, the ministry is, therefore, bound by that recommendation.
“And we think this is possible without leaving anybody behind. I am saying this because members will recall that when Mr. President presented the Appropriation Bill, his recommendation was a focus on uncompleted projects and we are bound by that recommendation.
“Our own proposal is that given the liabilities we have, the amount approved in the appropriation bill now pending before you, we are forced to make choice. And those choices will be whether to apply our limited resources available equally to all the 540 projects, that is one choice, or whether to apply the resources in a way to place some special priority on some projects. That is another choice.
We say the better choice is to stagger the choices, complete some things and put them to use with limited resources. And we think this is possible without leaving anybody behind,” he said.
He listed the road projects from A1-A9 as vertical connections and A5-A9 as horizontal connections.
“The A1-A9 include roads that lead from the North to the South and from the East to the West. They connect Lagos Ports to Illela, Warri Port to Katsina; Calabar Port to Maiduguri and Yobe and connect Port Harcourt Port also and Maiduguri. The A5 – A9 roads connect to the agrarian areas and fuel depots,” he said.
“We intend to use our resources to focus on the roads listed as A1-A9 which cut across all the geopolitical zones of the country. They also serve the major ports; they connect to major fuel depots so that energy can move across the country. They also connect to major agricultural hubs,” he added.

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