Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed has disclosed that most of the bad roads in Nigeria belong to the states.
The Details: According to the Nation, Ahmed argued that most bad roads in the country were within the jurisdiction of states. She made this statement after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting that held yesterday in Abuja.
She went further to state that the Federal Ministry of Works was the biggest beneficiaries of funding in the 2019 budget as it was adequately reimbursed for the purpose of roads rehabilitation in the country.
“So far, the sum of N650 billion had been released to fund capital projects,” she said. This figure, according to her is higher than the sum the President ordered to be released last month. She also promised that an extra N250 billion would be released for capital projects to bring the total sum to N900 billion by the end of the year.
Refuting the claim of the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola over the lack of finance to fund road repairs, Ahmed responded that the government had gone as far as issuing several Sukuk Bonds to cope with financial responsibilities associated with road construction.
The Minister said, “Works is always on the priority list; housing is always funded. Same is transportation and power, though we have revenue challenges.
“It allows me to state that the Minister of Works and Housing has a proposed budget of N247 billion for the year 2020 and the greatest component of this budget is the fixing of Nigerian roads.
“Indeed, we are not able to fund the budget 100 per cent, but whenever we release funds for capital projects, the Ministry of Power, the Ministry of Works and Housing is always the priority and also the Ministry of Transport.
“Our fiscal space is tight, resources are limited because revenues are on the performing but at the time we have resources, funds to release, the highest proportion goes to Power, Transport, World and Housing. Also, we have introduced some measures that have seen private sector participants getting involved in road construction.”
Ahmed acknowledged that the government had not done enough to rehabilitate roads all over the country but still attributed most of the bad roads in the country to the states.
“We have a lot of roads in the country but not every road you see is the responsibility of the Federal government. The major arterial roads are the ones that are the responsibility of the federal government.
“Majority of the roads in the country are within the purview and responsibility of States as well as local governments.
“Have we done enough? No, not yet, that is why we are trying to do more including raising special funds to make sure that roads and such other infrastructure are being addressed,” she said.