The Ministry of Works, which oversees the upkeep and construction of over 33,000 kilometres of federal roads, has received a huge increase in its budgetary allocation from the National Assembly.
The ministry’s budget has risen from N657.3bn in the proposed budget to N1.03tn in the approved budget.
This is a N373bn or 56.7 per cent jump from the initial proposal and a 65.4 per cent hike from the 2023 budget. The reason for the increase is the expansion of the ministry’s capital budget from N617.9bn to N987.3bn.
The capital budget includes several new road projects across the country. Some of the major ones are: N94.83bn for the Lafia road and the 9th Mile (Enugu) Otukpo-Makurdi (Keffi Phase Ii) road project, N22.750bn for the Benin-Ilesha road, N11bn for the Koko-Besse-Zaria-Kala Kala road in Kebbi State, and N10.7bn for the Kano-Kwanar Dauja Hadejia road.
The ministry also plans to spend N3.35bn on vehicles for consultants and security supervision.
The Minister of Works, David Umahi, has repeatedly vowed to transform the road infrastructure in Nigeria for the benefit of the people. He had requested the National Assembly to raise the ministry’s 2024 budget to about N1.5tn to enable it to complete at least 10 critical roads and bridges in each of the six geo-political zones of Nigeria. With the budget almost meeting his demand, Nigerians expect the ministry to deliver on its promises of good and durable roads.
Umahi also set a target for contractors to complete 150km of roads in each of the 36 states and the FCT in 2024, excluding palliative work and other special projects.
“Can we have about 150km of road completed in 2024 in each state? What does that mean? If we have five contractors working together in the same state, then 150km divided by five is 30km, so it’s achievable.
“Nigerians will want to see if can we complete 150km in each of the 36 states and the FCT and you will see the total number of roads completed and that will be a good way to start,” he said.