Determined to ensure equitable development of road infrastructure across the country, the Federal Government has evolved a three-year plan for the implementation of major road projects in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, who disclosed this at the just-concluded National Council on Works meeting in Katsina yesterday, said the plan, which would be implemented between 2017 and 2019, was already being shared with the Ministry of Budget and Planning for inclusion in the 2017 budget and future national planning data.
Fashola, who said the plan was meant to connect states within each zone and across the country, however, pointed out that because government’s resources were limited, it had to make choices which, according to him, border on priority and economic expediency. The Minister said government would be guided in its choices by such factors as inputs from the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, which have provided data of critical roads in each of the six zones that are necessary to help evacuate farm produce to the market.
He said: “Also roads leading to and from fuel depots will be high on the priority of choices because of the need to develop mining business and evacuate mining products and petroleum cargo to fuel the nation’s energy need.” Fashola said government was also giving priority to roads that carry heavy traffic to reach more people with its limited resources because of the need to move large numbers of commuters, adding that while government could not build all roads in one year, a faithful implementation of the plan would ensure equitable delivery of better roads across the country. Fashola also announced that government had set in motion moves to form partnership with state governments to deliver safe and motorable roads across the country. He added, however, that success of the move would depend on a number of factors, some of which were in the control of the states and some in the control of the Federal Government.
-By Favour Nnabugwu, Vanguard