Nigeria prioritizes eighty road projects to enhance ease of doing business

By Golfa Francis

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Nigeria’s Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has highlighted that the construction and rehabilitation of eighty roads and bridges are priority projects scheduled for completion in the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

While updating the Federal Executive Council on the state of the projects, Mr Fashola said a total of 524 road and bridge projects were currently going on across the country, adding that every State in Nigeria including the Capital Territory has at least three of such projects.

The Minister listed those on priority to include 27 financed with Sovereign SUKUK Fund, 47 scheduled for substantial completion in 2020/2021 and other priority projects, two roads leading to the ports and four major bridges.

SUKUK is an Islamic financial certificate, similar to a bond in Western finance that complies with Islamic religious law commonly known as Sharia.

Giving reasons for the prioritization of the 80 projects, the Minister explained that when the projects are completed, they would improve the ease of doing business in the country.

 “The projects on completion will bring about reduced travel time, lower vehicle operating costs and improve the comfort of road users as well as improve the ease of doing business in the country and ultimately boost the Nigerian Economy”. Mr Fashola declared.

He noted that federal roads and bridges (categorized from A1 to A9) are major arterial routes that connect all states in Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory.

these routes and bridges link cities with high economic activities and majority of heavy goods vehicles which gradually dispersed through the link routes to different parts of the country”.

The Minister listed the roads to include Lagos-Ibadan-Ilorin-Jebba-Kotangora-Jega-Sokoto-Niger Border as A1; Warri-Benin-Lokoja-Abuja-Kaduna-Kano-Daura-Niger Border as A2; Port Harcourt-Aba-Umuahia-Okigwe-Oturkpo-Makurdi-Akwanga-Jos-Bauchi-Maiduguri-Gamboru as A3 and Calabar-Ikom-Ogoja-Katsina Ala-Jalingo-Yola-Bama-Maiduguri as A4.

Also listed are Lagos-Otta-Abeokuta-Ibadan as A5; Onitsha-Ihiala-Owerri—A.3 Junction at Umu Uyo as A6; Chikanda, Kosubosu-Kaiama-Kishi-Ilorin as A7; Mayo Belwa-Ganye-Serti-Mayo Selbe-Gembu as A8 and Jibiya-Katsina-Kano as A9.

Prioritized road projects being funded through the Sovereign SUKUK Fund, include Abuja-Abaji Road, Abuja-Lokoja Road Section IV, Dualisation of Obajana Junction-Benin Phase 2: Section 1, Construction of Oju/Loko-Oweto Bridge to Link Loko and Oweto with approach roads, Reconstruction of Bida-Lambata Road in Niger State and Dualization of Suleja-Minna Road Phase 11 in Niger State.

They also include Kano-Maiduguri Road,  rehabilitation of outstanding section of Onitsha-Enugu Expressway: Amansea- Enugu State Border, Dualization Of Obajana Junction-Benin Phase 2: Rehabilitation of Enugu-Port Harcourt Road Section iv: Aba-Port Harcourt, and Dualization Of Yenegwe Road Junction-Kolo-Otuoke-Bayelsa Palm.

Others include Dualization of Ibadan-Ilorin in Oyo State, reconstruction of the outstanding Sections of Beni-Ofosu-Ore-Ajebandele-Shagamu Expressway Phase iii, pavement strengthening and asphalt overlay of Ajebandele- Ijebu Ode-Shagamu Road in Ogun State.

Some of the projects scheduled for substantial completion in 2020/2021 and other priority projects, according to the Minister, include rehabilitation of Alesi-Ugep (Iyamoyung-Ugep) Section in Cross River State, construction of Yenegwe-Okaki-Kolo-Nembe-Brass Road and completion of rehabilitation of Ada-Okere-Ukoni-Amedokhiom Old Road, Uromi, Edo State.

Also included are the rehabilitation of Odukpani-Itu-Ikot Ekpene Road in (Section i) and Odukpani-Itu Bridge Head in Cross River State, construction of Bodo-Bonny Road with a bridge across the Opobo Channel, in Rivers State, rehabilitation of Odukpani Junction-Akpet Central Section of Calabar-Ikom-Ogoja Road in Cross River State, rehabilitation of Oshogbo-Ilesha Road in Osun State, Dualization of Abeokuta-Ibadan Road, and reconstruction of Apapa-Wharf Road in Lagos State, among others.

The four bridges under the priority projects are construction of Ibi Bridge, completion of construction of Chanchangi Bridge along Takum-Wukari Road in Taraba State, construction of Ikom Bridge  in Cross River State and emergency rehabilitation/maintenance of Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, while the two roads leading to ports are the construction of Agaie-Katcha-Barro Road in Niger State and construction of Baro Port to Gulu Town in Niger State.