Nigeria earmarks N348.5bn for Akwanga-Jos-Bauchi-Gombe road

Timothy Choji, Abuja


Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the sum of N348.5 billion for the rehabilitation of the Akwango-Jos-Bauchi-Gombe road, linking Nassarawa, Plateau, Bauchi and Gombe States.

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola disclosed this while briefing State House Correspondents on the outcome of this week’s cabinet meeting presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

Fashola said the affected road will be improved form a single carriage way to dual carriage, in order to ease the transportation.

“Ministry of Power, works and Housing presented the request for the award of the Akwanga-Jos-Bauchi-Gombe road, which was approved for the sum of N348, 595, 000, 000, for a total of 420.6 kilometres and the project scope is the expansion of the current two single lane highway into a dual carriage way.

“What is significant about this project is that it completes the integration of the North-Central zone with the South-East and the North-East, having earlier approved contracts for the Abuja-Keffi road and the Akwanga-Lafia-Makurdi road all in the North-Central as well as approved the 9th Mile-Enugu-Makurdi road which connects the South-east to the North-Central,” he said.

Monitoring Schemes
Minister of State Petroleum Resources Dr Ibe Kachikwu told Journalists that the cabinet approved the installation of technology monitoring schemes and structures under Petroleum Equalization Fund PEF for a total of about N17 billion.

“The scheme is for the automated fuel management system and censor network and the narrative to this is, we have all struggled with this subsidy payments and how much fuel is consumed in Nigeria, what volume of products are moving out illegally, etc. And the whole impact of Federal Accounts Allocations Committee accounts, Federation money and all that.

“The President had given a very serious mandate that we ought to rein in on his process. The essence of what PEF is doing is that this will enable us track refined petroleum product movement from the point of LC (letter of credit) opening from the vessels that come into Nigeria, up until the point where there are discharged into tanks in Nigeria, and from the tanks into trucks in Nigeria, monitor the trucks till they deliver the products into the storage tanks for the filling stations and they are discharged and sold. So, that will produce a 100 percent holistic monitoring of this production. For the first time we will be able to tell how much petroleum products we consume in this country. Because, there has been so much going on in terms of the movement of consumption numbers from thirty something million litres a day to 70 million litres to 18 million litres a day during the difficult times.                                  

“The challenge the President has given me is to rain that in, let’s know what we consume in reality, let’s know where these products are going and this process will be able to track every truck. So, a typical truck will be licensed with a driver, with a transport company, so if a truck misses, you can find the transporter and the company that takes responsibility. So we expect this to be over a period of three years but we promise that within one year, the real effects of this will begin to show. Obviously you need time to train and to continue to improve the system. We hope that by the time we start doing the 2020 budget in 2019, we would have gotten to a point where our petroleum products are being tracked and substantially impact will be made in monies that come into the federation accounts. It will help us keep proper data repository of consumption in this country, destruction, data on all trucks that operate, total number of products received, what is sold out of filling stations and it is going to be a collaborative system that involves NNPC, DPR and PPPRA but situate quite frankly in PEF.

He noted that FEC had approved the revision of contract for the construction of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board’s headquarters in Yenagoa, which had been given out in 2015 initially for a contract sum of about N27 billion but was now revised to contract sum of N42 billion.