By Favour Nnabugwu & Alice Festus
The Federal Government has committed a staggering N1.63 trillion on 223 on-going highway projects spread across the six geo-political zones of the country.
Similarly a total of 333.71km of roads have been rehabilitated in the first half of this year while 172.64km new roads have been constructed between January and June this year.
The Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Works, Dr. Abukakar Muhammad made the disclosures during the visit of the Peer Review Team led by the Head of the Service of the Federation, Alhaji Bukar Goni-Aji. The team was made up of eight Permanent Secretaries in tandem with decisions reached by the Body of Permanent Secretaries to constantly review the performance of the MDAs in the country.
Alhaji Mohammed told the team that out of the Ministry’s 2013 capital budget of N141.48billion, it received the sum of N42.088billion as at the end of the second quarter of this year.
He further added that out of the total sum released to the Ministry, it had expended N41.5billion representing 96.54 per cent utilisation.
“While 25 highway projects are currently undergoing procurement process under the 2013 budget, two projects along Enugu- Port- Harcourt Expressway are awaiting the approval of the Federal Executive Council,” he said.
He assured the team and Nigerians of government’s determination to change the face of the country’s road sector. According to him, “priority attentions were now being placed on some arterial roads across the six geo-political zones of the country.”
“In line with the transformation agenda of the present administration, the Ministry is determined to continually transform the road sector with a view to delivering better roads across the country for Nigerian road users in the years ahead”, he stated.
In his remarks, the HoS, Alhaji Bukar Goni-Aji stressed the need for all permanent secretaries to take keen interest in the activities in the various MDAs and compare notes in terms of their performances and service deliveries.