The Federal Government on Sunday said that it will focus on the completion of ongoing road and bridge projects in the country instead of beginning new ones, in the implementation of the 2021 budget.
A statement by the Ministry of Works and Housing on Sunday, qouted the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola as listing roads whose completion would be prioritised during the budget year to include those categorised as A1-A9.
According to Fashola, 18 of such road projects, which had reached appreciable level of completion, had been identified across the country for completion within 12 to 15 months.
The minister further noted that the decision to prioritise the projects was in line with the mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari, whom he said repeatedly emphasised the necessity to focus the budget on completion of projects.
Fashola noted that other categories of road and bridge projects the ministry would focus on for completion during the budget year also included those that had attained 70 per cent completion, adding that the ministry would also focus on the maintenance of about 50 bridges nationwide as a measure to avoid further deterioration of the structures, which he described as critical.
“Bridges like the Third Mainland Bridge, the Koton Karfe Bridge and the Makurdi Bridge are part of about 50 bridges being rehabilitated simultaneously among others,” the Fashola stated, adding the ministry also had its focus on the completion of the construction of Chanchangi Bridge along Takum-Wukari Road in Taraba State and Ikom Bridge along Calabar-Ikom Road.
While estimating the estimated cost of rehabilitating all the bridges at N80.984bn, Fashola pointed out that there was a need, in the course of each year, to address washouts and erosion envisaged with the subsiding discharge of flood waters nationwide.
“We are mindful of the limitation of resources but the frequency of these natural disasters caused by climate change and aging infrastructure must compel us to think of making provisions for emergencies,” he said, adding that the ministry had selected two roads and a bridge in each of the six geopolitical zones for enhanced funding during the budget year.
Speaking on the ministry’s interventions on internal roads in federal tertiary institutions across the country, the minister said 43 such projects had been completed, explaining that inadequate budgetary provisions had stalled the projects.
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