The Federal Government has said most of the bad roads in the country do not belong to it.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, stated this on Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
More so, Ahmed said contrary to impression, the Federal Government was funding the Federal Ministry of Works to deliver on road repairs.
This runs contrary to the impression created last week by the Minister of Works and Housing that there was paucity of fund to tackle the challenge of bad roads.
Ahmed told State House Correspondents that about N650 billion had been released for capital projects in the 2019 Budget.
She said the figure surpassed the N600 billion President Muhammadu Buhari directed should be released as of October.
She said additional N250 billion would be released by December to bring total releases for capital projects this year to N900 billion.
Ahmed said despite revenue challenges, Works, Housing, Power and Transportation received the highest releases so far this year.
She recalled that the government issued several Sukuk Bonds aimed at generating money to fund road projects, adding that not all roads were Federal Government roads.
She said majority of bad roads belong to state governments.
She said: “Works is always on the priority list; housing is always funded.
“Same is transportation and power, though we have revenue challenges.
“It allows me to state that the Minister of Works and Housing has a proposed budget of N247 billion for the year 2020 and the greatest component of this budget is the fixing of Nigerian roads.
“Indeed, we are not able to fund the budget 100 per cent, but whenever we release funds for capital projects, the Ministry of Power, the Ministry of Works and Housing is always the priority and also the Ministry of Transport.
“Our fiscal space is tight, resources are limited because revenues are on the performing but at the time we have resources, funds to release, the highest proportion goes to Power, Transport, World 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 repairs across the six geopolitical zones.
“I also want to remind you that for the past two years, we have issued Sukuku 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 a 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?
“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.”
Ahmed said the FEC approved for Nigeria to subscribe additional 3,230 shares worth $50.637 million in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development of the World Bank.
She said Nigeria had a share capital of 1,687 shares at the IBRD.
She said: “This additional subscription to the Bretton Woods institution by Nigeria is not just desirable but necessary.
“It will strengthen the country’s position and enhance our voice in the global financial architecture.”
FEC approved a contract of N1.7billion for the construction of a jetty in Bonny Island in Rivers State.
Besides, it endorsed a bill for the establishment of a Metallurgical Training Institute in Onitsha, Anambra State.
The Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki: “The Ministry of Transportation presented a memo for the approval of the award of contract of Jetty at Bonny Island of River State.
“The approval was given.
“Some years ago, we had a jetty at the Bonny Island, but it collapsed and now creating huge problem for top boats and pilot age.
“The pilot land is in Bonny, so boats used to come from Port Harcourt to pick up the pilots.
“Today, the Council granted approval in favour of Messrs Due Projects Limited for N1.7 billion and it will be completed in 15 months.”
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, represented at the briefing by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said FEC also approved a draft of Executive Bill to be sent to the National Assembly for legal framework for the National Metallurgical Training Institute, Onitsha, Anambra State.
According to Mohammed, another memo from the ministry was for an approval for the ratification of the Statute of African Minerals Development Centre.