The House of Representatives says the state of roads across Nigeria is not reflective of the huge budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Works which has been led by Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola since 2015.
Chairman of the House Committee on Works, Abubakar Kabir Abubakar told newsmen this week that in spite of the huge outlay on roads since 2015, the nation’s road surfaces have only gotten worse.
On Tuesday, October 8, 2019, President Buhari proposed a budget sum of N262bn to the ministry of works and housing, the highest allocation in the 2020 appropriation bill, a tradition he has maintained since 2015.
According to Hon Abubakar, information from the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission suggests that only 60,000 of the about 190,000 kilometres of roads across the country have been asphalted, leaving a whopping 135,000 untouched.
Abubakar adds that from the data, it is obvious that there is a big problem.
He said lawmakers have a crucial role to play in making the roads compare with those of other developing countries.
Tolling and maintenance
Fashola recently announced that to maintain roads nationwide, a regime of tolling would have to kick off very soon.
“Let me just clarify this impression about toll gates; there is no reason why we cannot toll; there is no reason.
“There was a policy of government to abolish tolls; to dismantle toll plazas but there is no law that prohibits tolls in Nigeria today.
“We expect to return toll plazas; we have concluded their designs; of what they will look like; what material they will be built with; what new considerations must go into them,” Fashola said after a recent Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
During the ministerial screening session of July 2019, Fashola was peppered with questions bordering on failed portions of roads across the country.
The minister had blamed delay in passing of annual budgets and delay in disbursement of approved sums, for his not so impressive performance.
To drive round Nigeria is to come face to face with some of the most deplorable road surfaces in the world.