President Muhammadu Buhari has identified infrastructure development as one of the areas in which his administration had made a lot of progress.
The president stated this while presenting the 2019 budget proposal before the joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday in Abuja.
President Buhari, who announced budget proposal of N8.83 trillion for the 2019 fiscal year, said that the 2018 budget recorded a performance of 67 per cent.
He said that the Federal Government carried over capital projects that were not likely to be fully funded by 2018 to 2019.
According to him, the 2019 budget is intended to further place the economy on the path of inclusive, diversified and sustainable growth in order to continue to lift a significant number of citizens out of poverty.
He stated that government’s approach on infrastructure was a logical one as it simply prioritised the completion of critical on-going projects over the introduction of new ones.
The president said that, for example, in the Ministry of Water Resources, the Federal Government identified 116 abandoned or uncompleted projects relating to irrigation, dams, drainage and water supply.
He listed the completed and/or commissioned projects to include- Central Ogbia Regional Water Project in Bayelsa State; Northern Ishan Regional Water Supply Project, Edo; Sabke Water Supply Project, Katsina State and Takum Water Supply Project in Taraba.
Others, according to the president, are Ogwashi – Uku Dam in Delta; Shagari Irrigation Project in Sokoto State, Galma Dam, Kaduna State; Mangu Water Supply Project, Plateau State as well as the Federal University of Agriculture and Makurdi Water Supply Project in Benue.
He said that his administration also made giant strides in the railway sector.
“We completed and commissioned the Abuja – Kaduna Rail Line and the Abuja Metro-Rail Project. Similarly, the previously abandoned Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri Rail Line is undergoing test runs and will soon be commissioned.
“We are also on track for the Lagos – Kano rail line as significant progress has been made on the Lagos to Ibadan segment of the project.
“ We remain committed to rebuilding and expanding our road network. In 2018, an additional 1,531 kilometers of roads have been constructed and 1,008 kilometers rehabilitated across the country.
“Priority projects such as the Abuja – Kaduna – Kano highway as well as the Second Niger Bridge are well underway through the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund,’’ he said.
The president also disclosed that in every state of the federation there was a major Federal road project going on.
He said that in the North Central, long neglected roads like the Ilorin – Jebba Road, a stretch of 93 km that took a number of days to travel had been completed to provide a critical link between the Northern and Southern parts of the country over a few hours.
Buhari said that his administration had awarded the dualisation of the road to expand it all the way to Mokwa, as was done to the Abuja – Keffi-Lafia -Makurdi roads where work recently commenced.
According to him, work has resumed on the Suleja – Minna road after years of inactivity.
“In the South-South, we have recently completed the 60 km section of Alesi to Ugep in Cross River State, and awarded the 72km section from Odukpani Junction to Ugep which will reduce a journey that used to take 3 days a few years back, to 3 hours.
“Work has also commenced on the Calabar – Itu – Odukpani Road that links Akwa-Ibom to Cross River State, as we have started work on the long-neglected Bodo – Bonny Bridge to connect these long separated communities.
“In the South East, a critical section of Umunya linking Awka to Onitsha, a stretch of 18 kilometers, is being constructed now and one side of it should be ready for use before June 2019. Roads like Arochukwu – Ohafia – Bende are also receiving our attention.
“In the South–West, long neglected and abandoned roads like the Badagry Expressway have been awarded for construction along with the Apapa – Tin Can Island, Mile 2 – Oworonshoki, road to ease the congestion currently being experienced in Lagos, while interstate roads linking Ogun through Ikorodu to Sagamu, and Ipaja to Otta and Abeokuta are being repaired with payment to contractors.
“In the North-West, we have completed the Sokoto to Tambuwal – Jega Road comprising 135 Km out of the entire Sokoto to Yauri stretch and sections of Kaduna Eastern bypass and Kano Western bypass are also progressing.
“In the North-East, we have started work on the long-neglected Mayo – Belwa – Jada Road, and the Gombe – Numan – Jalingo Road and recently awarded the reconstruction of bridges damaged by insurgency,” he said.
According to him, the N100 billion Sukuk Bond raised by the government is being used to fund 25 another 25 road projects across the country.
He listed the projects to include the construction of the Oju/Loko-Oweto bridge over River Benue, dualisation of section of Abuja-Abaji-Lokoja road, dualisation of section of Suleja – Minna road, dualisation of section of Lokoja-Benin road (Obajana – Okene), Dualisation of section of Kano – Maiduguri road linking Kano – Jigawa – Bauchi – Yobe.
Others are the dualisation of section of Kano – Katsina road, Dualisation of section of Kano Western By-Pass, Construction of Kaduna Eastern By-Pass, Rehabilitation of outstanding section of Onitsha-Enugu Expressway, Rehabilitation of Enugu-Port Harcourt road and dualisation of section of Yenegoa road junction.
The president said that his government had also creditably acquitted itself in power supply, as it was working on over 90 transmission projects across the country.