The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has revealed that the Federal Government had invested N260bn in roads across the country in the past three years.
According to him, the funds were expended on the road sector between 2015 and 2018.
Fashola disclosed this in his keynote address at the 4th Quadrennial Delegates’ Conference of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers branch of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers in Abuja.
The minister stated that under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the Federal Government, about N300bn had been committed to Nigerian roads, stressing that it was one thing to have a plan, and another to commit to the faithful implementation of the plan.
His words, “If you think this is not important, let me remind you that in 2015, only N18bn was budgeted for all Nigerian roads in the Ministry of Works. Only N9bn was funded at the time when Nigeria’s oil was selling at close to $100 per barrel.
“This was at the time of the Transformation Agenda, when commitment fell significantly behind stated objectives. But what has changed under the ERGP is that the Buhari government has committed close to N300bn to roads, and funded about N260bn at a time when oil prices are manifestly below the 2015 figures.”
The minister, who told his listeners that he had yet to start his campaign for the current government, stated that the action points and achievements of the current administration were not accidental.
“On the contrary, they reveal a clear thinking and understanding of what must be done to rebuild our economy and underline the interconnectivity between availability of quality infrastructure and the delivery of energy from petroleum products to drive our economy,” he added.
Fashola said the results of road construction by the government would mean reduced journey time, adding that activities on the roads were been revived, as contractors had returned to various project sites.
The minister stated, “Although there is a very long list of critical roads that support petroleum distribution, I cannot fail to mention the recent award of the Ikorodu-Shagamu Road that services the Mosimi Depot, where work will soon commence.
“Similarly, our ministry is working to finalise the procurement and award of the Apapa, Tin Can, Mile 2, Oshodi to Oworonshoki highway.”
He added, “I just returned from road project inspection in Kebbi and Jigawa states last night, where our contractors informed me that bitumen producers and suppliers were now struggling to cope with demand.
“These are clear signs of a business boom and employment not only for transporters of the products like your members, but also for the manufacturers.”