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FG earmarks N223bn for repair of roads, bridges in 2021, as highways claim 668 lives in five years

Minister of Finance, Dr. Zainab Ahmed has disclosed that the federal government in 2021 will be spending over N222.6 billion for construction and rehabilitation of roads and bridges.

In a formal virtual public presentation of the 2021 budget, the Minister revealed that N168 billion of the sum will be targeted for 12 critical projects across the six geopolitical zones while an additional N54 billion is for construction and renovation of various Bridge projects nationwide.

One of the bridges is the emergency rehabilitation of Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos which the minister says will gulp N4 billion.

Other projects include N500m counterpart funding for construction of joint border bridge at Mfum/Ekok under the Nigeria/Cameroun International highway and transport facilitation programme.

In addition, the budget also appropriated over 100 billion for various railway projects for 2021.

Read also: NUPENG threatens strike over bad roads

Approximately, Nigeria has 200,000 kilometers of roads. Of this number, 34,000 kilometers belong to the federal government and they constitute the class of roads called federal highways in the country.

The condition of these roads are so poor that only about 35 percent are said to be motorable.

In fact in the last 19 months, a total of 668 road users lost their lives traveling across the country representing an average of one person every day. This is according to the analysis of data from National Bureau of Statistics from 2016 to third quarter of 2020.

With the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing in the 2021 budget getting N399.6bn, an increase from N262 billion in 2020, Nigerians will be hoping more efforts are put in place to end their pains.

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