Isaac Anumihe Abuja
The Federal Government yesterday said it was spending a total of $49billion about (N1.9trillion) on major ongoing projects across the country with Lagos-Calabar Railway, Eko Atlantic and Lagos Light Rail taking the largest chunk of US $30 billion.
According to a report, Lagos-Calabar Railway which is about 1,400 kilometres long, is one of Africa’s most ambitious projects.
Others projects include the World Trade Centre costing about $1billion, Lekki Free Trade Zone, $1.2 billion and Mambilla Hydroelectric Power project, $5.8 billion.
Apart from these priority projects, other infrastructures slated for completion in the life of the Muhammadu Buhari administration include the 2nd Niger Bridge, Loko-Oweto Bridge across River Benue, Ikom Bridge, the 3rd Mainland Bridge in Lagos, the Murtala Mohammed Bridge in Koton Karfi, Isaac Boro Bridge in Port Harcourt, Chanchangi Bridge in Niger State, linking Niger and Ilorin and the Tambuwara Bridge in Kano among 37 other bridges across Nigeria.
In a recent statement, Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, said that the construction of the Loko-Oweto Bridge across River Benue has offered shorter route for travellers, reduced travel hours to its barest minimum and facilitated redistribution of wealth in the local communities.
The bridge, Fashola said, provides a shorter route cutting off about four to five hours of travellers time.
“For someone coming from Cross River to Abuja by road, ordinarily will have to go from Calabar to Ikom, Ogoja to Katsina-Ala and then join Markudi, come through Lafia then Keffi and Akwanga into Abuja; but now you have a bifurcation through Oweto to Nasarawa.
“This government, in spite of very limited resources is simply doing almost the near impossible in terms of infrastructure. Mr. President continues to give his support and commitment to infrastructure. His understanding of the purpose of infrastructure for growth and development is very clear” he added.
Speaking at the First Year Ministerial Performance Review Retreat in Abuja, President Muhammadu Buhari said that his government was embarking on a number of infrastructure projects to improve the standard of living of Nigerians. “On transportation, we are growing the stock and quality of our roads, rail, air and water transport infrastructure. The Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund projects are also progressing very well. These include the 11.9 km 2nd Niger Bridge, 120 km Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, and 375 km Abuja – Kaduna – Zaria – Kano Expressway. At the same time, we are actively extending and upgrading our railway networks, as well as our airports which are being raised to international standards with the provision of necessary equipment, to guarantee world class safety standard,” he said.