New Plans to Re-categorize Federal Roads, To be handed over to states

 

The federal government plans to re-categorize federal roads in states which fall within cities due to rapid infrastructural development and hand them over to state governments for maintenance.

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Such roads which are originally categorized as “Trunk A” roads, meaning that they were under the purview of the federal government will now become “Trunk B” roads with state governments managing them.

The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, gave the hint yesterday during the 2016 budget appraisal and defence of the 2017 budget estimates of the ministry.

Fashola who explained that when some of the roads were conceived over four decades ago, when they were meant to be bye-passes far away from the city centres however noted that developments have brought the roads closer to cities such that they were now in the city center.

He listed the Kaduna Bye-Pass and the Umuahia-Aba Road in Abia State as two of such federal roads that would be handed over to the states but added that the ministry will consult with the National Assembly before carrying out the plan.

He said, “Many years ago, we didn’t have the city infrastructure we have today around those roads. Like the Western Bye-Pass in Kaduna which the governor has said the state will take over.

“We will come back to the National Assembly to look into this”, Fashola added.

The minister also faulted the procurement process in the country noting that it was responsible for delays in project execution and further advocated that the current 15% mobilization fee paid to contractors be increased to enable them meet up with project execution.

“The procurement process is too long and takes too much time. We need to shorten the time.

“For a country like Nigeria where there is a gap of infrastructure, we must be able to move faster than we are doing right now. It is one of the ways to recover the economy from recession”, he stated.

The minister informed the committee that in respect to the 2016 budget, the level of performance was above 50 per cent with N139bn released out a total capital vote of N284billion.

“The budget performance is correlative to the time the budget was passed in May, 2016 and between then and now”, he added.

The Ministry has a combined vote of N529billion in the 2017 budget.

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