Lawmakers to support road projects

Golfa Francis, Abuja

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Nigeria’s Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Works have collectively agreed to give the necessary support of ensuring that all on-going road projects are expeditiously constructed and rehabilitated.

This was made known during the 2020 Budget Defence of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing at the National Assembly, Abuja.

While answering questions on issues of the deplorable condition of roads in the country and the delay to commence repairs, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr  Babatunde Fashola maintained that the rainy season was not the ideal period for road construction and repairs due to the attendant problem of flood .

Fashola stressed that very soon Nigerians would witness a turnaround in road repairs as his Ministry would swing into action.

The Minister, however, maintained that inadequate funding was the main challenge hindering his Ministry from realising its mandate and set goals.

According to him, while the number of roads that needed to be repaired kept increasing on daily basis, the fund to fix them was grossly inadequate and at times not available.

He revealed that his Ministry was usually saddled with “the problem of land compensation from communities, individuals and various tribes who make exorbitant claims for compensation from the Nigerian Government,” therefore calling on the legislators and the State Governors to help his Ministry out in this regard.

Priority
Fashola suggested prioritisation of the major roads for completion and rehabilitation.

Priority in the construction and rehabilitation of roads should be given to the major highways that connect various State capitals, the sea ports, air ports, the fuel deports among others”.

He implored that the repairs of these critical major roads should be staggered and evenly spread across the six geo-political zones across the country so that no zone, individual or group of persons will complain of neglect or marginalisation.

Partnership
The Chairman of the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Works, Senator Adamu Aleiro suggested Public Private Partnership Financing Strategy to fix the Nigeria’s roads.

The Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee, Engr. Abubakar Bichi reiterated the support of the members to collaborate with the Ministry to address the challenges of roads in Nigeria.

The Minister of State for Works and Housing, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu, the Permanent Secretary, Mohammed Bukar and directors of the Ministry were at the 2020 Budget Defence

 

Sammie Idika