Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola yesterday assured the citizens that three major projects – Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge and Kano-Abuja road projects – would get steady funding until completion.
Fashola spoke at the flag-off of Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road project in Kano.
The 375.4-kilometre road project was awarded to Julius Berger Plc at N155,470,626,078.07 with 36 months’ completion period.
The minister said uninterrupted funding of the projects would be sourced from the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Fashola explained that the benefitting projects earlier suffered neglect for 10 years despite buoyancy of the past administration.
His words: “The existing 25 roads are only a part of 200 roads that needs to be funded. Strategic roads, which carry some of the heaviest traffic and which connect the North and South of the country, the Second Niger Bridge and the Abuja-Kano road project have either being stalled or simply deteriorated for about a decade for lack of funding at a time when the country made a lots of money from the sale of crude oil.
“President Buhari has again brought change. After the SUKUK, he has now approved an infrastructure development fund.
“These three projects, Lagos- Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge and the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano expressway, are the first beneficiary of the infrastructure developed fund.”
He added: “What change means now is that work will no longer stop on these three projects on the account of lack of funding once they are put in the budget.”
The minister noted that the contractors working on Lagos-Ibadan road and Second Niger Bridge had been mobilized. According to him, Julius Berger construction firm is expected to begin work on the third project after the flag-off.