Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Works and Housing, stated on Wednesday that the Nigerian government is indebted to construction companies. The companies are handling 711 road projects in Nigeria now with a cost of N392 billion.
It is estimated that the figure is 42% bigger than the allocation for road projects in the proposed 2021 budget which is N276 billion.
The minister disclosed this to members of the Senate Committee on Works in Abuja in his defence of the 2021 budget for the works and housing ministry.
He stated that ‘With the situation on ground, a stop has come for new projects and the country needs to prioritize the existing ones in order to complete some of them,’ he said.
Mr. Fashola further stated that the government needs the sum of N6.62 trillion to finance the 711 road projects across the nation while disclosing that there is still limited resources to accomplish the very task. He however called on the government to focus on the major ones.
‘The situation on ground requires us to cut our coat according to our cloth and not according to our size because no good will come out of more new road projects now.’
The 711 road projects have been spread into four broad categories in line with funding and execution.
The highway projects funded with the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund comes first. The project comprises the 2nd Niger Bridge, Lagos-Sagamu-Ibadan dual carriage ways and the rehabilitation of Abuja-Kaduna-Kano dual carriage ways.
The second category will be the highway projects funded with the Sovereign Sukuk Fund involving 44 roads in 6 geopolitical zones.
The third class comprises the highway projects funded under the tax credit like the Apapa-Wharf Road in Lagos, Lokoja-Obajana-Kabba-Ilorin Road, and the Apapa-Oworonsoki-Ojota Expressway, among others.
Ultimately, the fourth category will be the highway projects funded from multilateral loans.
Adamu Aliero, chair of the committee, advised the government to finance some of the projects from pension funds.