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FEC approves N29.7bn for road, water projects in FCT

By on September 26, 2013

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday in Abuja approved N29.7 billion for the execution of road and water projects in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

These include the construction of a dual carriage way linking Abuja and Kaduna through the Usuma Dam area of Abuja and the provision of water in parts of the Asokoro Extension in the capital city.

Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting which was chaired by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, the Minister of FCT, Sen. Bala Muhammad, said the projects were part of the government’s statutory responsibilities to the people.

He said the projects were meant to provide complementary infrastructure in the area where more than N100 billion worth of investments would be put in place through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programme.

‘‘Companies are coming to provide primary infrastructure in the areas and it is our own statutory responsibility or legal obligation to provide the complementary services like water and other infrastructure.

‘‘Buildings are already coming up there. We are accessing private investment to the tune of N100 billion (there),’’ the minister said.

According to the minister, the road project which is part of the Lower Usuma Dam project part 11, will run through Bwari to Gurara, having earlier completed the first phase of the project at the cost of N13 billion.

He said the road project would cost N28 billion, while N1.7billion would be spent on the water project.

‘‘Council has agreed to approve this road and it is expected to run from Dutse Alhaji to access the northwestern part of the country through Kaduna as well as provide creating easy access to the lower Usmanu Dam project within the FCT.

‘‘The project is costing N28billion, with a completion period of 24 months as well as cross cutting advantages of making sure that we provide complementary services such as housing, agriculture and water supply,’’ he added.

Also speaking, the Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen, noted that government was also planning more roads to ease traffic flow into and out of the FCT.

He said the government was looking at the creation of bypasses to link the FCT with neighbouring states.

‘‘Essentially, we are going to have ring roads, like semi circular ring roads that will act as a collector road and move people away from these expressways to different points in the Federal Capital (Territory) city.’’

According to him, the road sector under the two years of President Jonathan’s administration has had the best of attention.

He said the road sector had never had it so good in the past 20 years than what the nation was witnessing since the advent of the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

‘‘In two years, we have recorded a massive rehabilitation of arterial roads across the country, a number of abandoned projects were revived, many of them have been completed.

‘‘A point in case is the Onitsha-Owerri expressway.

‘‘That is why, when you move to the South East of Nigeria today, all the erosion ravaged city scrapes that you are used to seeing are no more there. We have completely recovered all that.”

‘‘Not only there, in fact the intractable problem we used to have along the Ore Ofosu road, on Benin Ore road (that) have been tackled, the Vom-Manchok road in Plateau has been completed, the section one of the Gombe-Numan road has been completed, Uba-Umbala road in Borno state has been completed, quite a number of road alignments across the country have been completed these past two years.

Speaking on the rising number of markets on federal highways, Onolememen said the ministry, in collaboration with the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), had proposed a measure of enforcement to tackle the issue.

He identified lack of enforcement as main factor responsible for the rights of way abuses in the country.

”Only recently, we had the national council on works in Ilorin and one of the key issues we discussed was this right of way abuses on our highways and market on the road is one of the abuses of rights of way in our country.

”This is a menace and during the meeting, we tasked the FRSC that have the responsibility for enforcing behaviour on federal roads across the country to enhance road user education and also enhance enforcement.’’(NAN)