Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing, has rubbished speculation that the Federal Government lacks the needed funds to complete…
Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing, has rubbished speculation that the Federal Government lacks the needed funds to complete road projects across Nigeria.
He said on Wednesday that, “as it is now no single federal highway is in jeopardy throughout the country either as a result of lack of funding or improper supervision.”
Making the disclosure when he inspected the Kano-Katsina Highway, Fashola identified lack of proper funding and right of way as the major impediments retarding the progress of work on the ongoing projects in the country, saying however that it is not a case of government lacking money to complete them.
Fashiola said, “although we are making progress as you have heard from our controllers on the Kano section, we are now on the border between Kano and Katsina, similarly, work has started on the Katsina boundary section.”
He said the challenge now is of dualising what was a single carriageway to a dual carriageway to make the road more conducive for a great volume of traffic.
The minister said that means they must move people who have set up facilities such as markets and shops and to relocate electricity poles and other things like paying compensation as provided by the law.
“That is essentially a state responsibility because of the powers granted to the state under the constitution with respect to land control what we need really is right of way.
“We are hopeful that the state governors will respond and cooperate with us we expect that from them so that we can provide the needed infrastructure that will connect the states.
“Yesterday when I came into Kano I met with the governor and he assured me that the state had gone far on the issue of payment of compensation. I am hopeful that we will have a similar response from the Katsina state governor,” he said.
While commenting on the issue of lack of funding said, “We must commend our principal, the President, for his commitment in investing whatever resources the Federal Government earned in building and providing infrastructures. And that is really an investment for the future.
“As I said earlier, this road (Kano to Katsina) was a single carriageway but somebody thought it wise to expand it and this is been done across the country. We were, until now, living on ageing infrastructures and were making business and daily activities quite challenging”.
On the role of SUKUK, he said it is currently covering specific road networks across the country.
Fashiola said the finance ministry will release funds to SUKUK in two weeks time for the continuation of the Kano to Katsina road project.
He said on the Abuja, Kaduna, Zaria to Kano road: “I will like to assure that the project will definitely be completed before the President leaves office.
“We are doing everything possible to make sure that all the Urban roads like Lagos Ibadan Expressed Way 2nd Niger Bridge Kaduna Western bypass, Kano to Maiduguri and many more in the Southern and Eastern parts of the country will be completed before the expiration of PMB’s tenure.
“Most of these projects will come under the Highway Management Development initiative.”
He said with the coming of the present administration seven years ago there is a serious commitment to infrastructural development and that is why the Federal Government dissipated most of its resources on payments of contractors.
“The most legitimate way to reach out to the common man is by settling contractors who will, in turn, pay their debts and workers and money paid to them stimulates the economy,” he said.