The Federal Government has denied accusations that it spends more money in road construction in the North than in the South, reiterating its commitment to equal attention on road construction across the country.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing (FMWH), Alhaji Babangida Hussaini, said this on Wednesday in Niger at routine inspection of the reconstruction of Lambata-Bida road.
Hussaini was represented by Mr Funso Adebiyi, Director, Highway Construction and Rehabilitation, FMWH.
Dismissing the insinuation that more money was spent on roads in the north than in the south, the official said the cost of construction of a road was determined by many factors.
“One, the level of deterioration before the intervention, two, the soil texture of that area, the water table, again the nearness to the borrowed materials you want to use in haulage, and also the cost of haulage.
“The soil texture in that area, how much of contextabillity you require; some will require stabilization. All these have cost implications in different proportions.
“So the cost of constructing a one-kilometre road in Bayelsa could be used to do up to 50km in Katsina.
“Because when you look at it critically the thickness of your stabilisation could go as deep as one point something metres and you start building from there,” he said.
He said that another factor that affects the cost of road construction was what was being designing for, how busy the place would be and the kind of traffic anticipated.
“So, when you build a 10km road in Katsina you may not be able to build more than one in Bayelsa or Rivers depending on the terrain.
“So, the insinuation that government is spending more money in the North than in the South is not true.
“Sukuk for instance is shared equally among the states, so the amount provided for South West is the same given to North West.
“Government is not biased. Don’t forget that some of us are from these parts so we cannot sit down and allow our own regions to be short changed,” Hussaini said.
The Lanbata -Bida road is 124.81km long from Lanbata town on dualised Suleja -Minna road. The road passes through Lapai-Agaie and terminated at Bida.
“It is a section where trailers were falling on top of each other, so government saw the need that it was critical to reconstruct the road.
“It is 20 percent done and would be completed in 48 months,” Husseini said.
The road is a component part of the Lagos to Abuja Federal Highways traversing through Oyo, Kwara and Niger, and it commenced on May 21 , 2018 at the cost of N33.31 billion.