The Federal Government has listed the Second Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Abuja-Lokoja Road among the “critical economic routes” in the country to be fixed in 2017.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, disclosed this on Monday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Works to defend the 2017 budget proposal by the ministry.
The ministry had proposed a budget of N564,211,583,496 for the three sectors and parastatals under it, out of which works is to get N311,487,641,643.
Speaking on how the ministry had prioritised projects in 2017, Fashola explained that highway projects were categorised into six – from priority I to VI.
“The intention is to give priority attention to projects at arterial highways and to record appreciable progress in order of importance of the projects,” he said.
The projects under “Priority 1,” which he termed as “national priority projects,” were projects “on critical economic routes on the federal road network.”
Fashola said, “These are highly trafficked North-South, East-West routes used for the distribution of goods and services across the country and major river-crossing bridges.” The sum of N150,470,553,292, which represents 62.22 per cent, is proposed to execute “national priority 1” projects in 2017.
“Some of the projects are the construction of Second Niger Bridge at Onitsha; construction of the dual carriageway of Abuja-Abaji-Lokoja (Sections I-IV) in FCT/Kogi State; construction of the Kano-Maiduguri dual carriage Road (Sections I-V) in Kano/Bauchi/Yobe/Borno states; and the rehabilitation of Enugu-Port Harcourt Dual Carriageway (Sections I-IV) in Enugu/Abia/Rivers states.”
Others are, “Rehabilitation/reconstruction of the Lagos-Shagamu-Ibadan Expressway in Lagos/Oyo states; construction of Loko-Oweto Bridge in Nasarawa/Benue states; reconstruction of outstanding sections of Benin-Ofosu-Ore-Sagamu Road in Edo/Ondo/Ogun states; rehabilitation of Odukpani-Itu-Ikot Ekpene Road section I: Odukpani-Itu Bridgehead; and rehabilitation of Ilorin-J’ebba-Mokwa Road.”
On the list of projects given second priority, the minister said, were “projects being executed along the branch routes from the critical economic routes on the federal road network.”
He said, “These roads serve as links between the major routes and agricultural producing hubs, factories and mining deposits for the evacuation of agricultural produce, manufactured goods and raw materials to markets and ports across the country. The sum of N43,143,299,357, which represents 17.84 per cent, is proposed to execute “National Priority 2” projects in 2017.”
Some of such projects, he said, included the dualisation of Sapele-Ewu Road in Delta/Edo states; “as an addendum II” to the dualisation of Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta Road in Lagos/Ogun states; rehabilitation of Hadejia-Nguru-Gashua-Bayamari road in Jigawa/Yobe states; and the rehabilitation of Ilorin-Kabba-Obajana Road in Kwara/Kogi states.
Others are the rehabilitation of Yola-Mubi Road; rehabilitation of Owerri-Umuahia Road in Imo/Abia states; dualisation of Yenegwe Road Junction-Kolo-Otuoke-Bayelsa Palm in Bayelsa State; and the rehabilitation of Damaturu-Biu Road.
On projects given third priority, Fashola said, “These projects are specifically targeted at routes leading to the nation’s refineries, petroleum depots, major ports and mineral producing areas in the country to ease the movement of petroleum products and imported goods from the ports and depots to other parts of the country.
“Also, the sum of N25,508,708,266, which represents 10.55 per cent, was proposed to execute national priority 3 projects in 2017.
“Some of the projects are rehabilitation of Apapa-Oshodi Expressway in Lagos Phase I & II; dualisation of Suleja-Minna Road; construction of Bodo-Bonny Road with a bridge across the Opobo channel in Rivers State; access road to Apapa/Tin Can Port, NNPC Depot (Atlas Cove) to Mile 2; and the construction of Agaie-Katcha-Baro Road.”
The minister described roads given priority 4 as those in “key agricultural states producing cash crops like yam, rice, maize, cassava, fruits, etc.”
He noted that the objective was “to boost the production of these crops and ease their movement to markets. This is to enhance food sufficiency in the country and minimise losses.”
Fashola said N8.9bn, which represents 3.68 per cent, was proposed to construct and rehabilitate roads in this category.
Such projects include the rehabilitation of Sokoto-TambuwaI-Jega-Kontagora-Makera in Sokoto/Kebbi states; rehabilitation of Otukpo-9th Mile-Enugu-Port Harcourt dual carriageway in Benue/Enugu states; rehabilitation of Abakaliki-Afikpo Road in Ebonyi State; rehabilitation of Akure-Ondo Road in Ondo State; rehabilitation of Aba-Azumini-Opobo Road (Aba-Azumini section) in Abia State; rehabilitation of Wukari-Mutum Biyu-Jalingo-Numan Road Section I: Wukari-Mutum Biyu Road in Taraba State.
Fashola, however, said that the major factor militating against the timely completion of projects was insufficient budgetary provision for projects to sustain annual cash-flow requirement levels.