ABUJA — The Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA, has been given a princely sum of N10 billion in next year’s budget to fill potholes in the nation’s highways.
The amount forms part of the N34.7 billion, which the agency has been allocated in the 2013 budget. The Ministry of Works under which FERMA operates, will utilise N139, 529, 704 within the year for its capital and recurrent expenditure.
Of the amount, N 135,170, 900 will be used for capital projects while the balance of N4, 358, 703 will be for recurrent expenses by the ministry. This is contained in the details of the 2013 budget.
Among the roads slated for rehabilitation within the year are the Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene Road in Abia and Akwa Ibom states for which N175 million has been budgeted. Others are Kaduna-Zaria Road to be rehabilitated with N 277 million and the 9th Mile-Obule Afor Benue border Road in Enugu with N210 million.
A section of the controversial Benin-Shagamu Road in Ondo will also benefit from the FERMA rehabilitation programme with N187 million earmarked for the job. According to the budget estimates, all major roads across the country’s geo-political zones are slated for repairs by FERMA within the fiscal year.
Similarly, the Ministry of Aviation is asking for N5.5 billion for consultancy services and construction of an airport terminal in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State, the home of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The ministry is planning to use N32 billion for the construction and repairs of aerodromes in the country’s airports while N1.1 billion will be used for ‘research and development’ within the year.
Other ambitious projects earmarked by the ministry include the construction of a new terminal building at the Kano International Airport with N1.6 billion and the introduction of ‘new security strategy’ in the same airport with N7 billion.
The ministry wants another N120 million to conduct assessment on the conversion of the Taraba State Airstrip to an Agro Airport and a further N1.2 billion for the construction of a cargo shed and lighting system at the Samuel Mbakwe Airport in Owerri, Imo State.
The modernization of airports across the country is to cost the nation the sum of N7 billion while the court settlement against National Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, is to gulp N930 million.
In addition, the ministry will spend at least N200 million to supervise and monitor its projects scattered all over Nigeria within the year.
The National Assembly has however warned that it must be satisfied with the implementation of the 2012 budget before it begins the examination of the next year’s appropriation. The legislature has already served notice that it will tamper with the budget before passing it.