Photo caption: Tinubu addressing lawmakers at the National Assembly during the presentation of the 2024 budget
The Federal Government is planning to rehabilitate and construct 1,925 roads and highways across the country in the 2024 budget proposal, according to findings by The PUNCH.
The government also allocated N548.56b for roads construction in 2024, with the East-West and Benin-Akure roads getting N2bn and N3.75bn respectively.
This is however separate from the N288.44bn allocated for the modernisation of 329 roads and bridges in the 2023 supplementary budget.
If road projects in the supplementary budget are added to those in the 2024 budget proposal, it means the government is expected to spend N837bn on 2,254 roads and bridges in the 2023 and 2024 fiscal years.
The road projects to be executed under the Ministry of Works also indicated the provision of N1.05bn for the removal of overgrown vegetation on some federal roads.
An analysis of the 2024 budget christened, “Budget of Renewed Hope”, showed that the ministry allocated N3.19bn for the purchase of 50 motor vehicles.
Some of the road projects to be constructed include the rehabilitation of Kabba- Ayere- Isua- Ipele road in Kogi and Ondo states at the cost of N2.14bn, as well as the construction of Ikot Ekpene border Aba-Owerri dual road at the cost of N1bn. Also, the dualisation of Lagos- Otta road will gulp N1bn while N8.2bn was provisioned for the counterpart funding of the Lafia bypass and 9th mile Enugu- Makurdi road.
The Kano-Maiduguri Road Section IV, Potiskum-Damaturu Road got an allocation of N2.1bn, while the dualisation of Aba-Ikot Ekpene road in Abia/ Akwa Ibom states was allocated N1.41bn; the construction of Ikot Ekpene border-Aba – Owerri dualisation got the sum of N1.01bn, while the rehabilitation of Odukpani junction -Akpet central section -Ikom-Ogoja road in Cross River State got N1.1bn.
The budget also made provisions for the construction of culverts and drainage in flood-prone areas on federal roads in the South-East zone at the cost of N3.03bn; N10.7bn for the counterpart funding for the expansion of the Abuja-Keffi carriageway while the rehabilitation of three sections of the Lokoja-Abuja road got N6bn, dualisation of Suleja-Minna road phase II in Niger State got N500m.
A similar provision of N3.031bn was made for culverts and drains at flood-prone areas of the federal road network in the North West zone, while the rehabilitation of Shagamu road in Lagos State will gulp N1.3bn. The rehabilitation of the access road to Apapa/Tin can Island Port/NNPC depot got a budgetary allocation of N143.5m.
In the South-South zone, provision was also made for culvert drainage and flood-prone areas on the federal road network in four locations in Rivers State for the sum of N2.6bn, the rehabilitation of Odukpani-Itu-Ikot Ekpene road, section I Odukpani- Itu Bridge head both in Cross River State, received an allocation of N1.5bn.
For the dualisation of Ibadan/Ife-Ilesha road in Oyo State, a sum of N2.2bn was allocated, while N104m was set aside for the rehabilitation, construction and expansion of Lagos-Shagamu-Ibadan dual carriageway section I, Lagos State.
The ministry also proposed to spend N15bn on emergency contingency funds, N145m for gaming and sports equipment, while local travel and transport was allocated N33 million.
In the budget, the Federal Road Maintenance Agency also got N66.702bn for the repair and maintenance of federal roads and bridges in the country while an appropriation of N1bn was given for the construction of the agency’s corporate headquarters.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Works has instructed contractors who are being owed to approach the ministry with all relevant documents between December 12 and December 22, 2023.
The ministry through a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the minister, Uchenna Orji, on Sunday, said the current administration inherited huge debts arising from unpaid certificates of road projects to the tune of N1.5tn, a reduction of N10tn from the N11.16tn announced by the former Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, while defending the 2023 budget.
Umahi revealed that to tackle the debt inherited from the past administration on ongoing road projects nationwide, he had set up six committees to review all debts of unpaid road projects.
The minister said that the committees would also review the approved and unapproved variation of prices and all augmentations that were approved or were yet to be approved and make recommendations to the ministry.
The statement read in part, “The minister notes the huge debts arising from unpaid certificates inherited from the past administration, which runs up to N1.5tn up till date and the expected contract reviews arising from inflation and has, therefore, set up six committees of one committee per geopolitical zone to review all debts of unpaid certified certificates generated before May 29th, 2023, and from May 29th 2023 to date.
“The committees will also review the approved and unapproved variation of prices and all augmentations that were approved or are yet to be approved and make recommendations to the ministry’s management.”