Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Works and Housing, on Tuesday, said in order to begin the 35,000 kilometres network of roads, the Federal Government will be in need of nothing less than N500 billion annually for the next three years.
The Works Minister said work is ongoing on only 13, 000 kilometres of the nation’s federal roads.
Fashola said this while speaking to journalists in Abuja.
The minister noted that if succeeding administrations had shown the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), commitment towards the development of the road infrastructure, most Nigerian roads would have been the better for it.
Fashola said, “I think that a minimum of half a trillion every year over the next two, three years will be a strong support to really advance and complete as many as the 711 contracts.
“Again, people are mistaken what I said about 711 contracts to mean roads. No. For example, from Lagos to Ibadan expressway we have one road but two contracts, one with JD, one with RCC.
“On Benin/Lokoja we have one road but we have five contractors. So, the totality of those contracts is made of 711 different contracts on many roads across the country and the total road network now under construction or rehabilitation is little over 13,000 kilometers in different stages of repairs out of total Federal network of 35,000 kilometers.”
Fashola further explained that his administration inherited a number of roads which it yet to be completed but as many as possible should be completed before the end of its tenure in 2023.
Some of roads being rehabilitated were started in 2007, some in 2006 and others are even older but Fashola stated that, “unfortunately for reasons that we can only imagine, at a time that the country was earning more revenues, up to $100 per barrel, the total budget of this country was N4 tr. It is now that the country is earning very less, $40 per barrel that it is budgeting N13tr.”
Fashola however cautioned Nigerians against the abuse of roads.