The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has said the Federal Government is concluding plans to complete the reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road, Lagos, within the next two years.
Fashola also stated that the Federal Government inherited a debt of N1tn as outstanding payments to road contractors across the country.
The minister, who spoke on Tuesday while addressing a joint session of the House of Representatives Committees on Works/Power/Housing in Abuja, added that the government’s total commitment to roads was in excess of N2tn.
He explained that the government had decided to prioritise road projects in the country by identifying major ones in the six geographical zones with a view to completing them.
Going by the prioritisation plan, Fashola mentioned the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway as one of the projects that would be completed within 24 months.
He said N50bn had been proposed in the 2016 budget to speed up work on the reconstruction of the expressway.
He stated, “The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway has been prioritised as a major traffic artery. The bulk of our imported cargo comes from Apapa, Tin Can ports through this road to other parts of the country.
“Food items and livestock from the North also reach the South-West and other areas through the road. It’s in our national economic interest to fix this road.”
Another road, which the minister mentioned as having been prioritised, is the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road in Lagos.
Other roads, named by Fashola as belonging to this category, include the Abuja-Lokoja and Nasarawa-Oweto-Otukpo roads.
He explained that the roads would be broken into a three-year plan (2016-2018), with the first phase being roads to be completed in 2016.
He added that 2,000 kilometres of roads would be completed each year, translating to 31 road projects in 2016 and 55 roads in 2017.
“Every zone of the country will be essentially served within available resources,” he said.