President Bola Tinubu’s administration inherited 38 uncompleted road projects worth N979bn from the Muhammadu Buhari government, findings by The PUNCH have shown.

The projects were identified through an analysis of the 2023 budget and cross-checked with the national monitoring and evaluation platform, EYEMARK, which was launched by Buhari in December last year.

The PUNCH reports that despite assurances from the former President to ensure the completion of the roads before the end of his tenure, several key road networks were left half-done due to low revenue and other challenges.

One of the critical projects is the expansion of the Abuja-Keffi dual carriageway and the dualization of the Keffi-Akwanga-Lafia-Makurdi road in Nasarawa State.

Other key projects that have yet to be completed include the Benue State Phase 1, Lafia bypass, and 9th mile (Enugu)-Otukpo-Makurdi Road in Enugu and Benue States Phase II which reportedly costs about N32.5bn.

Also on the list is the rehabilitation of the Ikorodu-Shagamu Road including the access road to Mosimi in Lagos State at the cost of N100m and the full scope development of Federal Capital Terriory  Highway 105 (Kuje Road) from the airport expressway to the outer Southern Expressway with Spur at Kyami District valued at N54.95bn.

The dualization of Akure-Ado Ekiti Road in Ondo/Ekiti states was put at N90bn.

Other projects include the dualisation of Obajana Junction to Benin phase 2: Section 11 (Okene to Auchi) at the cost of N5bn.

Other unfinished road projects include the construction of Bichi township roads (N1.40bn); Dawakin Tofa-Gwarzo-Dayi Road in Kano (N2bn); 5.4km Abuja- Keffi Expressway and the 220km Keffi- Akwanga-Lafia- Makurdi federal roads in the North-Central geo-political zone of the country awarded for N166.36bn.

Others are the Keffi-Akwanga-Lafia road project valued at N101.1bn, the Chanchangi bridge along the Takum-Wukari road in Taraba State at the cost of N100m, dualisation of the Jattu-Fugar-Agenebode road and the reconstruction of Irekpa-Fugar-Agenebode road in Edo State at the cost of N250m.

Another project is the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, which reportedly costs about N315bn and is currently handled by Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and RCC.

The 126.6km road is said to be at 85 per cent completion but the prolonged construction has subjected motorists and commuters to untold hardship, with many spending several hours in traffic daily.

Also, N400m was allocated for the construction of the Bidda-Sacci-Nupeko road and the Nupeko/Patigi bridge across the River Niger linking Nupeko and Patigi in Niger/Kwara States.


FG allays fears

Speaking in an interview with The PUNCH on Sunday, the Director of Highways South-West, Adedamola Kuti,  assured that all the outstanding projects would be completed.

He noted, “The way things are done in the federal civil service is quite different.

You would agree that the previous government inherited uncompleted road projects and they completed some of them even as they initiated new ones, so if the new administration has taken over the uncompleted tasks, we will ensure that those projects are completed. We are working hard and no project will be abandoned.”

Findings by our correspondent on Sunday indicate that the Federal Government earmarked N25bn to pay off local contractors this year.

The amount was contained in the 2023 budget

However, the figure is a far cry from the N11trn owed to local contractors by successive administrations.

The contractors who have completed the construction of various highways and other infrastructural projects across the country and issued certificates of completion have protested the failure of the authorities to pay them for contracts executed up to 12 years ago.

The President of the Local Contractors Association of Nigeria, Dandy Rowland, had indicated in an interview last year that the government owed members of the association N28bn.

Also, the former Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, during the ministry 2023 budget defence, had acknowledged that a total of N765bn unpaid completion certificates were still being owed while the government is committed to ongoing highway contractors to the tune of about N10.4tn.

However, when our correspondent sought to get an update on the issue, a highly placed source in the ministry attributed the delayed payment to the harmonisation of the amounts with the finance ministry.

The source added that there is no timeframe on when the contractors would be paid.

The source said, “We are still harmonising our figures with that of the finance ministry. No payment has been made yet and there is no time frame when it (harmonisation) will be completed.”

Meanwhile, the PUNCH has gathered that the freeze on financial transactions of the ministries, departments, and agencies by the current administration has not stopped payment to contractors involved in the construction of ongoing road projects.

A source explained that though recurrent expenditure has been suspended, contractors are still being paid because it is under capital vote and paid directly by the federal government.

“The recent ban on MDAs accounts has delayed all recurrent expenditure in the ministry, even our duty tour allowance has not been paid. TSA (Treasury Single Account) is currently compromised and that is why all payments have been stopped. The ministry can only process emergency payments like paying for a portrait picture of the new president.

“However, contractors are still being paid because their budget is under capital vote and is under the federal government. All our contractors are still getting paid without hindrance because if it’s stopped, developments will cease in the country.”

Efforts to reach the ministry’s spokesperson, Mrs Blessing Adams-Lere, proved abortive as she did not respond to phone calls. She had yet to reply to a text message as of press time.



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