The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has explained the reason the Federal government voted over N150bn for Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, 2nd Niger Bridge and other projects in 2017 budget.
Defending the 2017 budget proposal by the ministry before the Senate Committee on Works on Monday, Fashola said the Second Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Abuja-Lokoja Road and others were given the highest consideration because they are projects ”on critical economic routes on the federal road network.”
The ministry proposed a budget of N564,211,583,496.Works get a lion share of N311,487,641,643.
The minister said, “The intention is to give priority attention to projects at arterial highways and to record appreciable progress in order of importance of the projects.
“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.”
“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.”
“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 ” are also included. Over N150bn has been voted for these projects.
Fashola said “projects being executed along the branch routes from the critical economic routes on the federal road network.” are the ones given second priority in the budget.
“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,” the minister said.