The Federal Government is currently constructing and rehabilitating 524 highways and bridges across the country, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said. Fashola, who said this while updating the Federal Executive Council on the ongoing road and bridge construction/rehabilitation projects nationwide, highlighted 80 of them as priority projects scheduled for completion in the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
The minister, however, told the council that in order to accomplish the objective of completing the prioritised projects in scheduled time, an additional N255.6bn would be needed to close the funding gap. He stated that the amount was the difference between the appropriation for the projects in the 2020 budget, which stood at N157.05bn and the actual estimate for the completion of the projects, which he put at N412.64bn. He told FEC that of the 524 road and bridge projects currently going on across the country, every state in the federation including Abuja had at least three of such ongoing projects.
He said the priority ones comprised 27 projects financed with Sovereign Sukuk Fund, 47 scheduled for substantial completion in 2020/2021, two roads leading to the ports and four major bridges. On reasons for prioritising 80 projects, the minister was quoted in a statement issued by the ministry on Tuesday as saying, “The projects on completion will bring about reduced travel time, lower vehicle operating costs and improve the comfort of road users, as well as improve the ease of doing business across the country.”
Fashola outlined the prioritised road projects being funded through the Sovereign Sukuk Fund as Abuja-Abaji Road (Section 1, international airport link road junction, Sheda Village junction) and Abuja-Lokoja Road Section IV (Koton Karfi-Lokoja).