By BEN AGANDE
Abuja — The Federal Government needs N921.4 billion to complete about 195 ongoing road projects across the country.
Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, who disclosed this to State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC), said government had so far spent N1.39 trillion on ongoing road projects.
Giving a breakdown of the projects, the minister said 31 were in the north central zones, covering a total length of 1,054 kilometers, and estimated to cost N262.3 billion.
He said the north east had a total of 30 ongoing projects, covering a total of about 1,461 kilometers at the contract sum of N332.9 billion.
According to him, the north west had a total of 23 ongoing projects, covering a total of about 1,028 kilometer at the cost of N255.5 billion.
The minister said the south east had a total of 40 ongoing projects of about 978 kilometers with contract value of N149.6 billion.
According to him, with the volume of work and financial commitment of the federal government in other sectors, it is no longer feasible that road constructions will continue to be financed through annual budgetary provision.
He added that if government was to depend solely on annual budgetary allocations, the completion of on going roads would take another eight years.
In order to navigate through this challenge, the minister said his ministry was exploring various options to fund projects across the country.
According to him, of N143.5 billion capital budget approved for the Ministry of Works in 2012, only N111 billion was released, out of which N110 was spent and 32 projects completed during the year under review.
He said N85.5 billion from the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, was being used to fund six projects, including the Lokoja- Abaji-Abuja road.
The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, described the 2012 performance report of the Ministry of Works as “heartwarming”.
He said council expressed satisfaction with it, noting that “this nation can be sure that the federal ministry of works is moving ahead to deliver major roads in the country.”
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