The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said that the focus of the 2021 budget proposal of his ministry is the completion of priority road projects across the country.
Fashola disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Boade Akinola.
The minister explained that given the wide disparity between the ministry’s liabilities in unpaid certificates and the volume of road projects, it had become imperative for the FMWH to prioritize its 2021 capital proposal
This, Fashola said, was in order to make appreciable impact on road infrastructure development.
He said the ministry was currently undertaking a total of 711 highway projects spread across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.
The statement stated that the 711 ongoing road projects were categorized according to funding mechanisms which include projects financed with Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund, Sovereign Sukuk Fund, tax credit, as well as those funded from multilateral sources.
On highway projects financed with the Sovereign Sukuk Fund, Fashola said the ministry was financing a total of 44 roads and bridges across the country using the 2020 sovereign Sukuk issuance.
He added that the roads were mainly dual carriageways on the major arterial routes A1 to A9 on the federal road networks.
On the 2021 budget proposal, he said the focus of the ministry remained the completion of some priority road projects especially those on routes A1 to A9.
Fashola said the roads and bridges led to ports and major agricultural hubs across the six geopolitical zones.
He was quoted as saying, “The ministry has given priority first to about 18 road and bridge projects that have attained some appreciable level of completion. We are focusing on roads that have attained 70 per cent completion levels.”
The minister appealed to Nigerians to stop the agitation for new road projects but to agree on completion of ongoing projects that cut across all zones due to budgetary constraints.
He also appealed that budget ceiling for highway projects in the 2021 budget proposal be made to cover the execution of works during the year as well as leverage on other funding sources such as the Sukuk bond and the PIDF.