By Akpobor Jirue, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday approved the reconstruction of 21 roads covering a total distance of 1,804.6 kilometres across the six geo-political zones.
These projects are to be undertaken by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) through the deployment of its own tax liabilities.
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, announced the approval on Wednesday while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the FEC meeting held in Abuja.
In July, FEC approved the award of a contract to Dangote Industries for the construction of five roads totalling 274.9 kilometres at the cost of N309.9 billion, advanced by the company as tax credit.
“Earlier this year, there were five other roads – the Kaduna Western bypass, the Lekki Port road, the road from Shagamu through Papalanto, and a couple of others, and there is one road in Maiduguri. That was about N320 billion,” Fashola said.
“So today (Wednesday), we have another player. We have all the interested players who are still showing interest, but we haven’t concluded. We have another player who has shown interest and commitment to deploy taxes. It’s the government corporation known as NNPC.
“So, NNPC has identified 21 roads that it wants to deploy. Now, the instructive thing about this is that this initiative helps the government to achieve many things, including ministerial mandates three and four, which we discussed at the last retreat. ministerial mandates three and four, if you recall, was energy sufficiency, electric power and petroleum energy distribution across the country.
“Of course, petroleum energy distribution is being impacted positively and negatively, as the case may be the transport infrastructure which is the ministerial mandate four. NNPC has sought and the council has approved today that NNPC deploys tax resources to 21 roads, covering a total distance of 1,804.6 kilometres across the six geopolitical zones.
“Out of those 21 roads, nine are in North Central, particularly Niger state. The reason is that Niger State is a major storage centre for NNPC. NNPC is doing this to facilitate the total distribution across the country.”
Fashola gave an assurance that in the South-West, the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, the Agabara junction, Ibadan to Ilorin (Oyo-Ogbomoso section) will be fixed.
Three other roads are located in the North-East, two in the North-West, and two others in the South-East.
The Odukpani-Itu-Ikot-Ekpene road, the minister said, has now been fully covered to resolve the problem of financing regarding the execution of the road projects.
Speaking about the South-East, he stated, “You have Aba-Ikot Ekpene in Abia and Akwa Ibom States. So that’s a major link, then you have Umuahia to Ikwuamo, to Ikot Ekpene road and so on and so forth.
“In the North-West, it is Gada Zaima-Zuru-Gamji road, and also Zaria-Funtau-Gusau-Sokoto road. In the North-East, it is Cham, Bali Serti and Gombe-Biu road.”
There will be no more financing problems regarding the execution of roads, said Fashola.