BREAKING: Again FG approves funds for completion of Ogbomoso-Oyo road, 21 others
The interminable construction work on the Ogbomoso-Oyo new expressway received another boost today as the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the road as one of those to be speedily completed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC).
The FEC in its meeting today approved N621.2 billion for the NNPC to take over the reconstruction of 21 federal roads across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
Babatunde Fashola, minister of works and housing, disclosed after the FEC meeting presided by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday.
ogbomosoinsightonline.com recalls that the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) had decried the loss of its members and properties to dilapidated roads — but NNPC appealed to the union to shelve the planned strike and accepted to rebuild some roads.
The approval, according to Fashola, was in line with Executive Order No. 007 of 2019 cited as the companies income tax (Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme) Order, 2019 (“EO7 of 2019” or “the Scheme”), signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He explained that the selected 21 roads are 1804.6 kilometres, and it was a strategic intervention under the Federal Government Road Infrastructure and Refreshment Tax Credit Scheme.
The minister further explained that Executive Order 7 allows the private sector to deploy in advance the taxes they would pay for infrastructure development.
He said nine of the selected projects are in North Central, three in North East, two in North West, two in South East, three in South-South, and two in South West.
The selected roads in the North Central include dualization of Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa/ Bokani Junction road Section 1: Illorin-Jebba, Kwara State C/NO. 6468. 110.8km; dualization of Ilorin, Jebba-Mokwa/Bokani junction Road Section II: Jebba-Mokwa-Bokani junction in Kwara and Niger states. C/NO.6469. 46 km; dualization of Suleja-Minna road, Niger state. C/O. 6077. 40km; dualization of Suleja-Minna Road, Niger State PhaseII (Km 40+000-101+000) C/NO.6267. 61km; reconstruction of Bida-Lambata Road, Niger state C/NO.6372. 125km; Agaie-Katcha-Baro Road, Niger State 52.3km; emergency repairs of failed section of Mokwa-Makera-Tagina-Kaduna state border in Niger state. 164km; Minna-Zungeru minna-Zungeru-Tagina road, Niger state. 90km; and Bida-Minna road, Niger state. 791.1km.
For Northeast, they are rehabilitation of Cham-Numan section of Gombe-Yola road in Adamawa state, 46.35km; construction of Bali-Serti road in Taraba state. 110km; and rehabilitation of Gombe-Biu road in Gombe/Borno state. 117km.
The Northwest have rehabilitation of outstanding sections of Gada-Zaima-Zuru-Gamji road Phase II in Kebbi State 62km; and rehabilitation of Zaria-Funtua-Gusau-Sokoto-Birnin Kebbi. 221.5km.
Those in the South East include dualization of Aba-Ikot Ekpene road in Abia/Akwa Ibom states. 73km; and rehabilitation of Umuahia (Ikwuano)-Ikot Ekpene road: Umuahia-Umudike in Abia state. 49km.
For South South: rehabilitation of Odukpani-Itu-Ikot Ekpene road in Cross River state Section I: Odukpani-Itu Bridge Head in Cross River/Akwa Ibom states. 21.9km; dualization of outstanding portion of Odukpani-Itu-Ikot Ekpene: lot 2. 32km; and dualization of Oku-Iboku Power Plant Section of the Odukpani-Itu-Ikot-Ekpene road in Cross River/Akwa Ibom state. 28km.
South West have two roads also, including rehabilitation and expansion of Lagos-Badagry Expressway (Agbara Junction-Nigeria/Benin border) in Lagos State. 62km; and dualization of Ibadan-Ilorin road (Route A2) Section II in Oyo State (Oyo-Ogbomosho). 52km.
One only prays that it will be for real this time as it is recalled that several billions of naira were announced at different times in the past for the completion of the road, whose construction began in 2001 during the first tenure of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
In November last year, year Fasola similarly announced the approval by FEC of a sum of N104b for the completion of the Ogbomoso-Oyo road.
The non-completion of the road has put pressure on the old road precipitating its almost impassable state.
In 2018 Ogbomoso residents held a protest to draw attention to the dilapidated nature of the road thereby urging the federal government to expedite action on the completion of the new expressway.