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FG Needs N900bn For Rehabilitation Of Federal Roads, Owes N300bn

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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SAN FRANCISCO, December 10, (THEWILL) – Abubakar Magaji, permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, says the sum of N900 billion is required for rehabilitation of major federal roads.

The roads are: Lagos-Ibadan, Enugu-Port Harcourt, Enugu Onitsha, Lokoja-Abuja, Kano-Maiduguri, and 2nd Niger Bridge, among others.

Magaji, who stated this during an interactive session with members of the House of Representatives Committee on Works chaired by Toby Okechukwu, expressed concern over the N300 billion owed the contractors.

The ministry intends to work on at least two major roads linking state capitals in 2016, he said, but observed that the ongoing roads projects were “so many that we can’t finish them in one or two years.”

According to him, the ministry currently owes different contractors over N300 billion, and that most of the roads projects are not in appreciable stage due to paucity of funds.

He noted that from the N100 billion allocated for roads projects in the ministry in the 2015 Appropriation Act, only about N18 billion was released for the same purpose.

While responding to questions on the status of some federal roads in the Northern parts of Nigeria, the permanent secretary, who was recently posted to the ministry, noted that meagre sum of money was provided for these roads in the 2015 budget.

Magaji, who expressed concern over inadequate budgetary provisions for projects, however, assured that the ministry would pay adequate attention to them in the 2016 budget.

Some of the lawmakers, who spoke at the event, expressed displeasure over the status of major road projects including Bida-Pategi, Jeba-Mokwa, Sokoto-Kontagora-Makera, among others.

On his part, Ibrahim Mahuta noted that while the ministry was complaining of funds, it embarked on engineering design out of the little resources allocated for the project instead of mobilising contractors to site.