Fashola unveils roads plan for 2016 budget

Golfa Francis, Abuja

Nigeria’s Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, has unveiled plans for roads and project completion embedded in the Ministry’s 2016 budget.

The Minister, Babatunde  Fashola  stated this when he led the management team of his Ministry to the 2016 Budget Defence Session of the Senate  Committee on Works.

In his presentation of the main thrust of the Medium Term Sector Strategy 2016 – 2018 Budget proposals of his Ministry, Fashola said the objective is to ensure that the on-going projects in the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria are completed within shortest period.

“Is no longer business as usual we want distinct from the practice in the past, where the inadequate budgetary provision is spread thin over so many projects without much being completed”, Fashola said.

The Minister said roads with economic value that will connect hubs of commerce and generate employment, roads bearing the heaviest traffic and those nearing completion will be given priority over the next three budget cycles.

From the proposals, priority projects for the 2016 Budget are arterial highways and major river crossings carrying high volume of traffic and that are critical to the economic well-being of Nigeria with a total length of over two-thousand kilometre, distributed across the various zones.

“Some members of the Committee, requested to see a plan. There is a plan before you and l appeal that you should kindly look at in more detail.  It is perhaps different from what has been done before, and if we have done this budget method where we put X Naira in the Budget and every constituency takes a part of it in that Budget year and it doesn’t lead us to the conclusion of a project, I think the time has come to try something new,” the Minister said.

 Mr. Chairman, we have Sir, it is different from what has been done before.  The purpose of the  plan we brought to you is to address first, economic roads like the Second Niger Bridge, the Lagos – Ibadan Express way, the Ilorin – Jebba road so that, a section at least can be completed,” Fashola added.

Positive objectives

Fashola appealed to the Senate Committee on Works to retain the Ministry’s proposed plans in the 2016 Budget so as to achieve the much desired change and positive objectives of the Budget.

He also urged the Senators to trust him and the Ministry to deliver the desired objectives to Nigerians by not changing the proposed plans.

Acknowledging that every Lawmaker was entitled to make a case for their constituents, Fashola noted that if there was a clear cut plan as currently being proposed, each Lawmaker could with some certainty explain to their people on the schedule of their areas within such a plan.

Fashola noted that time has come for Senators to insist on what will make meaningful impact in the life of the citizenry by endorsing the Ministry’s proposal unlike what was done in the past.

The Minister was certain that if the budget is approved, every geographical zone of the Country would be served in each of the Budget cycles.