Gov. Nasir el-Rufai has sought the intervention of the National Assembly in the reconstruction of 40 -year old Kaduna-Jos road to ease the plight of Nigerians.
He made the appeal when the Senate Committee on Works paid him a courtesy visit on the sideline of its oversight functions.
According to the governor, the Kaduna-Jos road which is over 40 years old and in various states of disrepair requires much attention.
“We are informed that it is in the budget this year. We urge the Senate committee to intervene to get a credible contractor to work on that road because it is a very important road that connects the rest of Nigeria to Jos and bursts out to the Northeast,” he said.
He said that with an annual budget of N169 billion for federal highways, it was clear that alternative sources of funding must be found to enable the Federal Government meet its commitments.
“This is to ensure that the over 500 federal highways are not only motorable but in the state of highest quality.
“We will continue to engage with your committee to look for ways and means of ensuring that Nigeria has 21st century infrastructure which includes having the best highways possible” he said..
El-Rufa’i also urged the committee to intervene at accelerating the Birnin Gwari- Dan Sadau road which linked Kaduna Zamfara, Katsina.
He expressed appreciation to the Federal Government for engaging Dangote company using tax credit to reconstruct the western byepass.
“This is the 100-kilometre of the Kaduna-Lagos road that takes up to the boundary with Niger, covering Birnin Gwari- Dan Sadau road.
” This road has become very dangerous due to the activities of bandits and the bandits find it convenient to block the road because it is really in a very bad state of repair,” he said.
According to him, the Abuja- Kaduna -Kano road is a very important road that is at the heart of Nigeria.
“The road has deteriorated to the point that something has to be done. We are very grateful to the Federal Government for considering that road as a priority and not only funding it from the budget but also getting the sovereign investment authority to intervene,” he added.
Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Adamu Aliero, said the visit was to perform their constitutional responsibility of oversight functions of the ministry of works and housing.
He said there were no fewer than 522 roads across the country undertaken by the ministry.
“Out of these, I can assure you that if we go by funding from budgeting, it will take us between 20 years and 15 years before completing them,” he said.
He said the rehabilitation of some of the roads including, the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road was because of the importance attached to them.
“The Federal Government had taken this road so seriously and it is enjoying funding from three sources; the annual budget, the Sovereign Wealth Fund and the Abacha Loot,” he said.
He noted that the contract was awarded in 2017 and work commenced on May 21, 2018 and the completion date was supposed to be 2021.
“We inspected the road, we are not happy with the slow pace of the work. We know very well that the ministry kept changing the scope of the job. This is what is responsible for the delay of the job,” Aliero said.
He said the committee would deliberate with the Federal Ministry of Works over the issue to ensure completion of the rehabilitation of the four existing lanes from Abuja to Kaduna before additional lane from Abuja to Kano.