Abuja — The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, is to reconstruct 21 roads across the country.
This is part of information that emerged from the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting on Wednesday in Abuja presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Disclosing this to journalist shortly after the meeting, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said the NNPC has taken over the reconstruction of the 21 federal roads and that approval to that effect was given at the FEC meeting.
The reconstruction of the roads, totalling 1804.6 kilometres, is being undertaken by the NNPC under the Federal Government Road Infrastructure and Refreshment Tax Credit Scheme under Executive Order 7, by which private sector players are allowed to use taxes they would pay in advance for infrastructure development.
The minister said 7 of the road projects are in the southern part of the country – two in the South East, three in South-South, and two in South West while 14 of them are in the north – 9 in the North Central, 3 in North East, and 2 in North West.
Fashola said: NNPC has identified 21 roads that it wants to deploy. So now the instructive thing about this is that this initiative helps the government to achieve many things, including Ministerial Mandates Three and Four, which we discussed at the last retreat if you recall was energy sufficiency, electric power, and petroleum energy distribution across the country.
“Of course petroleum energy distribution is being impacted positively and negatively, as the case may be the transport infrastructure, which is the Ministerial mandate four.
“So, NNPC has sought and the council has approved today that NNPC deployed tax resources to 21 roads covering the total distance of 1,804.6 kilometers across the Six geopolitical zones.
“Out of those 21 roads, nine are in North Central, particularly Niger state. And the reason is that Niger State is a major storage centre for NNPC. So the reason NNPC is doing this is to facilitate the total distribution across the country.
“We have seen and have heard every year Niger State gridlock, the governor complaining that his roads are being damaged by trucks, by those who overload the trucks after damaging the roads themselves now protest the damage that they sometimes have induced. Anyway, this is the final solution to that problem.”
He continued: “So there are nine like that in north-central, there are three in the northeast, two in the northwest, two in the southeast, three roads, the entire Odupani – Itu – Ikot Ekpene road in LOT 1, 2, and 3 now fully covered.
“Then in the southwest, you have the Lagos-Badagry expressway, the entire junction and you also have the Ibadan to Ilorin in Oyo-Ogbumosho section. So that’s it.
“In the south-east, you have Aba-Ikot Ekpene in Abia and Akwa Ibom states. So that’s a major link, then you have Umuahia to Ikwuano to Ikot Ekpene road and so on. In the Northwest, it is Gada-Zaima-Zuru-Gamji road, and also Zaria-Funtau -Gusau-Sokoto road.
“In the northeast, it is Cham-Bali Serti and Gombe-Biu road. The roads impacted in north-central include Ilorin -Jebba-Mokwa-Bokani sections I and II, Suleja-Minna sections I and II, Bida-Lambatta, and then Again-Katcha-Baro road. Then Mokwa-Makera-Tegina-Kaduna all in Niger State.
“So, as I said, it is a total of 21 roads. What will happen as a result of this is that there will be no financing problems regarding the execution of these roads anymore.”