The Federal Government will spend about N169.88bn on the construction and rehabilitation of roads in the six geopolitical zones of the country in 2020.
This has been documented in the details of the 2020 Appropriation Bill that President Muhammadu Buhari presented to a joint session of the National Assembly last week. The figure is far less than the N280.44bn budgeted for the same purpose in the 2019 Budget.
According to Buhari, during the budget presentation, Federal Government would not embark on new road projects, but complete the ongoing ones.
The N169.88bn allocated for road construction and rehabilitation fell short of the amount needed to address road infrastructure deficits in the country.
According to the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria as of November 2016, said the country required about N3tn to address the massive road infrastructure deficits in the country.
COREN’s immediate past President, Kasim Ali, stated this in Abuja at the Public Hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Works.
The hearing was on the repeal of the Federal Roads Maintenance Ageny Act 2002 and on Federal Roads Authority Bill, 2016 and National Roads Fund Establishment Bill.
The N169.88bn be spent on construction and rehabilitation of roads is part of the N221.64bn allocated to construction/provision of fixed assets in the budget of the Ministry of Works and Housing.
Under the same title head, the government is proposing to spend N18.23bn on construction/provision of housing; N23.215bn for the provision of infrastructure; N6.91bn for the construction/provision of the ministry’s office building; N2.734 for the provision of electricity; and N653m for the construction/provision of public schools.
The roads that will receive government’s attention in 2020, according to the budget proposal, include the Lagos-Sagamu-Ibadan Dual Carriageway; dualisation of Sapele-Ewu Road; reconstruction of Bida-Lambata Road in Niger State; rehabilitation of Ikorodu-Sagamu Road; rehabilitation of 9thMile-Orokam Road in Enugu State; re-construction of Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega-Kontagora-Makera Road; dualisation of Obajana Junction-Benin Phase II, Sections I-IV; dualisation of Makurdi-Enugu Road; and dualisation of Akwanga-Jos-Bauchi-Gombe Road.
Others are the reconstruction of the outstanding sections of Benin-Ofosu-Ore-Ajebandele-Sagamu Expressway; dualisation of Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa/Bokani Junction Road; Abuja Lokoja Road; and early works for the construction of 2nd Niger Bridge.
N3.8bn for Lagos-Ibadan road, 2nd Niger Bridge debts
The Federal Government will be spending N3.8bn on what it called payment of legacy debts on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Sections I and II and early works to the construction of 2nd Niger Bridge. Legacy debts are funds owed contractors inherited from previous administrations.
N120m is budgeted for the ongoing rehabilitation, construction and expansion of Lagos-Sagamu-Ibadan Dual Carriageway, Section 1 in Lagos State; while the Section II of the same road in Oyo State will attract the same figure.
Ongoing construction of Nguru-Gashua Phase I, Leg II (34km) will gulp N1.5bn; while ongoing construction of Gashua-Bayamari will gulp N1bn.
The ongoing construction of access roads Phase 2A to the 2nd Niger Bridge linking Asaba and Onitsha in Delta and Anambra states will attract N1.2bn.
The ongoing rehabilitation and expansion of Lagos-Badagry Expressway (Agbara Junction-Nigeria/Benin Border in Lagos State will also get N1bn.
Also, the ongoing rehabilitation of old Enugu-Port Harcourt Road (Agbogugu-Abia Border spur to Mmaku) will attract N1bn.
Lagos-Ota road: N1.5bn
Addendum III to dualisation of Lagos-Otta Road in Lagos State will also gulp N1.5bn. There are no allocations for the Otta-Abeokuta Road.
The ongoing dualisation of Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa Junction Road, Section I: Ilorin, Jebba in Kwara State will attract N1bn; the Section II in Kwara and Niger State will also attract N1bn; while the rehabilitation of the Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa-Bokani Road will gulp N750m.
The ongoing rehabilitation of Enugu-Port Harcourt Dual Carriageway Section 1: Lokpanta-Umuahia in Abia State and the Section II: Umuahia-Abia in Abia State will cost N400m each; while the emergency repair works on Ijora Causeway, Apongbon, Ijora Flyover East Link, Funsho Williams Avenue and Eko Bridge expansion joint will cost N250m.
The ongoing rehabilitation of Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Road, Sections I-III in FCT, Kaduna and Kano states will also attract N120m.
The same figure is budgeted for the ongoing main works for the 2nd Niger Bridge linking Anambra and Delta states.
FG to make Lagos-Abeokuta road motorable
Meanwhile, the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Adedamola Kuti, on Wednesday said that the Federal Government was committed to ongoing reconstruction and rehabilitation of roads in the state.
Kuti told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that work was going on on Lagos federal roads, adding that contractors handling the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway project would soon return to site.
He stated, “We are working on all our projects except that serious work seems to have slowed down because of the rains, but the most important thing is that all the contractors are on site,’’ he said.
According to him, the Ministry of Works and Housing is supervising contractors working on section three from Agbara to Seme border on Lagos-Badagry Expressway to aid reconstruction and repair of the failed portions.
He added that work had also commenced on various sections of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and critical sections of the Ikorodu Sagamu Road.
“Work is ongoing on three sections simultaneously around Kara, Ibafo and Mowe on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. We are using different equipment on various sections to speed up work.
“On Apapa-Oshodi-Ojota-Oworonsoki Expressway, the reconstruction work is ongoing. The contractors are on site, and we have also made diversions. We are working on sections one, two, three and four.
“We have to appreciate that contractors are on site because ordinarily work is expected to slow down because of the rains.”
The controller, who refused to comment on allegations of delay in the completion of the reconstruction of Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, said that the ministry would soon make the roads more motorable.
He said that the ministry was working hard at carrying out palliative works on the highway, adding that contracts for the reconstruction of the highways had been awarded.
Kuti also said that repair works on all bridges would be sustained to ensure motorists’ comfort.
“Dorman Long Bridge is work in progress. We have succeeded in replacing some of the bad expansion joints. We have replaced five of them when you are coming from Fadeyi inbound Ojuelegba. We have also completed milling and resurfacing of the bridge.
“On the out bounds from Ojuelegba towards Fadeyi, the contractor is moving in to start work for the replacement of the expansion joints.
“The approach to the bridge, coming down from Fadeyi, a contractor was able to move to site last night when we had favourable weather to fix it, so the road is motorable now,’’ he said.
The controller said that repair works and replacement of expansion joints on the Ojuelegba, Eko and Alaka bridges had been completed.
He said that the repairs on the Third Mainland Bridge would commence as soon as the traffic management architecture was completed.
Also, the News Agency of Nigeria reported that the Petroleum Tanker Drivers Association, an arm of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, had urged Federal Government to urgently rehabilitate the roads.
The National Chairman of PTDA, Mr Akanni Oladiti, made the appeal at a training of 2,500 tanker drivers organised by the group in Lagos.
Oladiti, represented by the Chairman of the Training Committee, Mr Olujide Kilanko, said that the objective was to reduce road accidents involving tankers on the roads to the barest minimum.
“I appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to fix Nigerian roads. They are in deplorable conditions and need urgent attention, now that the rainy season is gradually coming to an end,” he said.
Oladiti said that the recurring cases of accidents caused by tanker drivers across the country had forced the union to embark on the training in the last six years.
He lauded the Federal Road Safety Corps and other traffic regulating agencies for their support and collaboration at all times during the training.
According to him, the training has helped to reduce the number of accidents involving tankers on the Nigerian roads and needs to be sustained.
Also, Chairman, Lagos Chapter of NUPENG, Mr Tayo Aboyeji, said that the training was to reduce the rate of accidents on the roads and also educate tanker drivers on safety tips.
Aboyeji said bad roads contributed to accidents that occurred on the roads, adding that a journey of two to three days to deliver a product, usually takes five days now, due to the deplorable state of the roads.
He, however, said that the union was managing the situation not to affect the distribution of products to their final destinations in spite of the bad roads.
“As of today, there is no gridlock in Apapa. The committee set up by the Federal Government, in collaboration with NUPENG, has done a great job in addressing the problem in that area.
“Another major problem is park for the trucks. The Orile Truck Park has been reduced by the rail construction and we do not have any place to park.
“We appeal to the Lagos State Government to assist in that direction. We only use the private truck park in Ogere in Ogun, but it is not enough to contain all our trucks,” he said.
In his remarks, Assistant Corps Marshal, Zonal Commanding Officer, Lagos/Ogun of the FRSC, Mr Samuel Obayemi, charged the union members on continuous training of their drivers to avoid frequent accidents.
Obayemi said the training had reduced the rate of tanker accidents on the roads. He said that the corps was working on a database to capture all drivers loading from depots to final destination for effective monitoring.
Rep laments bad state of Iseyin-Oyo road
Meanwhile, the member of the House of Representatives representing Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/Iwajowa of Oyo State, Mr Shina Peller, has lamented the deplorable state of the Iseyin-Oyo road.
He said the state of the road led to the ongoing indefinite strike by members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers plying the route.
In a statement on Wednesday by his Press Secretary, Kola Popoola, Peller expressed his dismay over the deplorable state of the Iseyin-Oyo and Iseyin-Ibadan roads.
He said the bad state of the road had continued to subject the people in the area to hardship. He assured the people that efforts were being made towards making the government construct the roads.