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2019 budget: FG to spend less on road construction,rehabilitation

Early works for construction of 2nd Niger Bridge to gulp N2bn, 3rd Mainland Bridge N1bn. The Federal Government plans to spend less on road construction and rehabilitation/repair works across the country in 2019, details contained in the budget proposal presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly recently, has shown.

A comparison of the 2019 and 2018 budget proposals for the Ministry of Power Works and Housing showed that while the budget for road construction dropped by N14.7 billion, that for road rehabilitation/repairs dropped by N56 billion.

The document showed that N346, 166,726,658 was budgeted for the Federal Ministry of Power Works & Housing (excluding agencies under the ministry). Out of this amount N10,281,446,795 was allocated for recurrent expenditure while N335,885,279,863 was allocated for capital projects.

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Out of the N335.8bn allocated for capital projects N124bn has been proposed for ‘Construction/Provision of Roads’ in 2019. This amount is lower by N14.7bn compared to N138.8bn budgeted for the same purpose in 2018.

Further analysis showed that the budget for road repairs in 2019 also got a massive cut, dropping by N56bn. The sum of N103.3bn was budgeted in 2019 compared to N159.5bn proposed in 2018.

However, unlike in the road construction and repair proposals, government plans to pump in more money into the housing sector in 2019.

In 2019, government plans to spend N30,969,671,325 on ‘Construction/Provision of Housing’ compared to N3,598,363,868 voted in 2018. The money for Construction/Provision of Housing will be spent mostly under the Federal Government’s National Housing Programme nationwide, which was captured as ‘Ongoing’ project.

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The budget details showed that some road projects tagged ‘new’, which government plans to execute are: the “Design and construction of bridge across the Cross River at Uwana (Ebony State) to Nkomoro (Cross River State) at the cost of N1bn, Dualisation of Akure to Ado Ekiti Road’ at N800m, ‘Construction of Rijiya-Gusau Road’ for N270m, and the ‘Rehabilitation of Potiskum-Bajoga-Gombe Road in Yobe and Gombe states’, at the cost of N600m.”

Other new projects for 2019 are the ‘Construction of road with asphalt, culvert and drainage from Kwanar Yawurma to Garandiya in Albasu Local Government, Kano State, at the cost of N200m.

Further analysis of the budget proposal showed that about three road projects described as ‘ongoing’ got the highest capital allocation of N3bn.

They are ‘Counterpart funding for the dualization of Makurdi-Enugu Road in Benue and Enugu states,; Counterpart funding for the dualization of Akwanga-Jos-Bauchi-Gombe Road in Nasarawa, Plateau, Bauchi and Gombe States’.

Other on going critical road infrastructure that will get government’s attention this year include the ‘Construction of Bodo-Bonny road with a bridge across the Opobo Channel in Rivers State,”  which will gulp N2.5bn.

The ‘Dualization of Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa/Bokani Junction Road in Kwara and Niger states’ N2.1bn; ‘Early Works IV for the Construction of 2nd Niger Bridge in Anambra/Delta states,’ for N2bn.

The sum of N1bn was budgeted for  ‘Emergency Rehabilitation/Maintenance of Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, Part I, (Restoration of Defective Substructure Piles (Underwater) while the ‘Dualisation of Suleja-Minna Road Phase II in Niger State will cost N1bn.

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The sum of N2bn was proposed for the following ongoing road projects: Abuja-Lokoja Road Section III (Abaji-Kotonkarfe); Abuja-Lokoja Road Section IV (Kotonkarfe-Lokoja); Kano-Maiduguri Road (Section I, Kano-Wudil-Shuari);Kano-Maiduguri Road (Section II, Shuari-Azare) and Kano-Maiduguri Road (Section III, Azare-Potiskum).

Others roads that will gulp N2bn in 2019 are the Kano-Maiduguri Road (Section IV, Potiskum-Damaturu); Kano-Maiduguri Road (Section V, Damaturu-Maiduguri); the ‘Dualisation of Obajana Junction to Benin Phase 2: Section 1 (Obajana Junction to Okene)’; ‘Dualisation of Obajana Junction to Benin Phase 2: Section II (Okene to Auchi)’; Dualisation of Obajana Junction to Benin Phase 2: Section III (Auchi to Ehor) and the ‘Dualisation of Obajana Junction to Benin Phase 2: Section IV( Ehor-Benin).

Meanwhile, apart from the Federal Government’s National Housing Programme nationwide on which over N30bn has been proposed for the construction of houses nationwide, there are some other schemes aimed at housing delivery in the country that have been captured in the 2019 budget.

For instance, the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board, an agency under the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHSCF) plans to spend N100m this year on Housing Loans Scheme.

The OHSCF also allocated N146.9m for its ongoing Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) Programme. It recently commissioned 151 housing units in the first phase of the FISH estates in Kuje, FCT, expected to address the housing needs of civil servants who are unable to own houses due to the prohibitive costs of land acquisition, building or purchase.

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