FG to spend N150bn on 44 highway projects

FG to spend N150bn on 44 highway projects

The federal government will spend the N150 billion Sukuk bonds being issued by the Debt Management Office (DMO) in financing 44 ongoing highway projects across the country.

Minister of State for Works and Housing Engr Abubakar D. Aliyu disclosed this on Thursday at the summit on National Policy and Development in Abuja.

He said due to paucity of funds, the federal government had to leverage on alternative sources of funding to finance infrastructure.

The minister said in 2017 and 2018, the federal government spent N200 billion raised through Sukuk bonds on 58 critical highway projects across the country. Twenty-five of these projects were funded in 2017 and 28 in 2018, he said.

Engr Aliyu said the “expansion, reconstruction and rehabilitation of Lagos-Ibadan road, construction of Second Niger Bridge and the rehabilitation of Abuja-Kaduna-Kano dual carriageway are being financed with the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF).”

He said this concerted and sustained effort in road infrastructure financing has positively impacted on the physical completion of many of the projects.

The summit was organised by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Policy Development and Analysis with theme as ‘Actualising the Next Level Agenda: Strategies, Prospects and Anticipated Challenges’.

The minister said in bridging the infrastructure gap in the country, the works and housing ministry is also intervening in tertiary institutions’ internal road networks across the country through the reconstruction of internal roads in 44 tertiary institutions nationwide.

“This forms part of the over 500 road and bridge projects currently being undertaken by the ministry as its contribution to infrastructure provision in the country,” he said.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari has prioritised the provision of basic road infrastructure because it is a necessary prerequisite for the socio-economic development of any nation.

He said policies have been put in place to encourage the private sector to partner with the federal government in the provision of the critical infrastructure.

The minister said, its “through the Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme (RIDRITCS) that projects like the Apapa-Oworonshoki road, Obajana-Kabba road, the Bodo-Bonny road and the Apapa-Wharf road are being executed by private firms.”

Speaking on the housing sector, Engr Aliyu said the National Housing Programme is on-going across the country with over 2,500 units completed in 34 states of the federation.

“The Federal Mortgage Bank and the Federal Housing Authority are also increasing the housing stock to Nigerians through several programmes designed to achieve this, like the rent-to-own, mortgage finance ownership,” he said.

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