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FG cannot fix all roads in the country – Zainab Ahmed

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Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, budget and national planning, says state and local governments share some of the responsibility to fix roads in the country.

Addressing journalists on Wednesday at the end of the federal executive council meeting in Abuja, the minister said the federal government is only responsible for major arterial roads.

Speaking of government’s efforts to fund road construction, she said: “Our fiscal space is tight, resources are limited but at the time we have funds to release, the highest proportion goes to power, transport, works and housing. Also, we have introduced some measures that have seen private sector participants getting involved in road construction.

“One of these measures is the Road Infrastructure Task Credit Scheme that Mr President approved by executive order early this year so far we have 17 companies that are carrying out 19 roads across the six geo-political zones.

“I also want to remind you that for the past two years, we have issued Sukuk bonds. In 2017, it was for the construction of 25 roads. In 2018, 23 roads and there is also another one that is being processed.

“We have a lot of roads in the country but not every road you see is the responsibility of the federal government. The major arterial roads are the ones that are the responsibility of the federal government.

“Majority of the roads in the country are within the purview and responsibility of states as well as local governments.

“Have we done enough? No, not yet, that is why we are trying to do more including raising special funds to make sure that roads and such other infrastructure are being addressed.”

According to the minister, there are plans to release N900 billion for capital expenditure by December adding that N650 billion has been released so far.

Babatunde Fashola, the minister of works and housing, recently created a stir after his comments that roads in the country are not as bad as they are portrayed; urging the media to publicise some of the government’s efforts on road reconstruction.

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