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Nigeria needs N500bn annually to fix roads

by Business News Report

Nigeria Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolomemen, has said that about N500 billion was required annually over the next four years to fix the country’s deplorable roads. Onolomemen said this at a public hearing on measures to address the near collapse of roads across the country, and a bill to provide for the maintenance of public infrastructure. The hearing was organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Works.

The bill seeks to impose a penalty on the heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies in case of failure to ensure regular maintenance of public infrastructure. The minister said that the annual budgetary allocations to road projects were inadequate. According to him, the delay in the release of fund for road projects had also led to delays and in some cases complete abandonment of road projects across the country. He noted that out of the N130 billion budgeted for highway projects in 2011, only N88.7 billion was released, while only N110 billion was released from the N143 billion budgeted in 2012.

Onolomemen said that the average budget of N100 billion for road development was grossly inadequate for the nation’s 35, 000 kilometre of federal road network. The minister, therefore, suggested for alternative funding for the maintenance of the country’s highways. The minister said that a bill for the establishment of Road Fund and Federal Roads Authority would soon be presented to the National Assembly. “There has to be a special fund to take care of the deplorable roads in Nigeria,’’ he said, adding that with appropriate funding, all roads listed by the Federal Government would be completed in 2015.

Onolomemen said that there was need to char

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