by Oluwatosin Fatoyinbo
The Federal Government may stop its funding of road construction in the country by 2019 and plans to cede the construction of road projects to the private sector. These facts were disclosed by the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku at the Ministerial press briefing organised by his ministry for the Federal Ministry of Works in Abuja.
The Federal Government said at the briefing that it has spent N1.765 trillion on 184 on going projects across the six geo-political zones of the country.
Speaking at the briefing during which the Minister of Works, Arc Mike Onolememen, presented his score-card, Maku explained that by 2019, the construction and maintenance of roads will principally be handled by the private sector.
He lamented the huge sum gulped by the fight against Boko Haram saying the money would have helped in road construction.
“Imagine what would have happened if all of the money (said to be trillions of naira) spent in prosecuting the war on Boko Haram had been spent in providing roads throughout the length and breadth of Nigeria,” he said.
“Everywhere in the world now, or major countries that are strong economic powers like Nigeria, people are not looking for Federal money or government money for road construction. People are returning to the private sector. India, Malaysia – several of those countries – attract billions of dollars for road construction from the private sector.
That is what Arc. Mike Onolememen and his team are saying now. Moving forward, after the reform that will create the Federal Highway Authority, the PPP, beginning with the (second Niger bridge) and Lagos- (Ibadan expressway), in the next three, four, five years, I believe that the money that will go into the provision of roads will not come from the government. It will be coming from the private sector,” Maku said.