The Federal Government will focus on the completion of ongoing road and bridge projects in the country rather than beginning new ones, in the implementation of the 2021 Budget, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has said in Abuja.
Fashola, who spoke during the defense of his ministry’s proposals in the 2021 Budget; listed roads whose completion would be prioritised during the budget year to include those categorised as A1-A9, adding that 18 of such road projects, which have reached appreciable level of completion have been identified across the country for completion within 12 to 15 months.
The roads and bridges, the minister said, include those leading to the ports and major agricultural hubs across the six geopolitical zones of the country, adding that the decision to prioritise those projects was in line with the mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari, whom, he recalled repeatedly emphasised the necessity to focus the Budget on completion of projects.
According to him, other categories of road and bridge projects on which the ministry will focus for completion during the budget year also include those that have attained 70 per cent completion, adding that subject to the availability of funds, such projects would be completed as early as possible.
The Minister, who was accompanied by the Minister of State, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu, the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Ernest Umakhihe, directors and other top ministry officials, said the ministry would also focus on the maintenance of about 50 Bridges nationwide as a measure to avoid further deterioration of the structures, which he described as critical.
“Bridges like the Third Mainland Bridge, the Koton Karfe Bridge and the Makurdi Bridge are part of about 50 bridges being rehabilitated simultaneously among others”, he said adding that the ministry also had its focus on the completion of the construction of Chanchangi Bridge along Takum-Wukari Road in Taraba State and Ikom Bridge along Calabar-Ikom Road.
Expressing the need for the support of the National Assembly in realising the stated objectives, Fashola, who put the estimated cost of rehabilitating all the bridges at N80.984 billion, however, pointed out that there was need, in the course of each year, to address washouts and erosion envisaged with the subsiding discharge of flood waters nationwide.