President Muhammadu Buhari has so far issued over 800 road contracts across the country.

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, made the disclosure on Thursday, at the weekly media briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team.

He said the move by government was aimed at addressing the problem of decayed road infrastructure.

“It is 800 contracts not 800 projects and the number of contracts are growing; just yesterday, I briefed about five different roads each one of them is a contract. Sometimes within a road you can have multiple contracts. For instance, Kano-Maiduguri highway is 560 kilometers so there are five different contractors there and each one has a unique contract. The same thing for Lagos-Ibadan highway, there are two contracts there, Enugu-Portharcourt has five contracts there. So each one has a designated supervising project officer and so on so in that sense, we have 800 plus contracts.”

Mr Fashola said work done consists of highways and bridges covering a distance of over 13, 000 kilometers.

The Minister said based on the 2015 budget which the current administration met, the sum of N18 billion was allocated for roads construction but that had since been increased significantly.

“But the first roads budget for the Buhari administration was N260 billion the next, N240 billion, next N356 billion then we have come down to N233, N237 and so on and so forth. We are doing a lot more with less resources.”

The Minister, who used the occasion to highlight what his Ministry has done in the past six years, disclosed that his ministry is also constructing six new federal secretariats arising from the creation of new states where assets were separated.

“The ones in Anambra and Zamfara are the likeliest to finish this year. The one in Nasarawa and Bayelsa will run into probably next year while Ekiti is in the race to finish next year,” headed.

On housing, the Minister said already there are various housing projects spread across 34 States.

He added that he Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) is currently rehabilitating about 13, 000 kilometers of road in various parts of the country.

“FERMA, our maintenance agency is already acting on over 5000 kilometers of road and 8000 kilometers of highway maintenance which is part of job creation as well,” he said.

The Works and Housing Minister also stated that the administration has been able to confront roads that he tagged as stubborn, which are now being used by Nigerians.

“We have been able to execute some of Nigeria’s most difficult projects that have defied solution from previous administrations and one of them is the Lagos-Shagamu-Ibadan expressway, which has been there for long since 1999 and it was under this administration that construction started and I say that emphatically. Before that it was maintenance but we are nearing completion now.

“Bodo Bonny was awarded three times unsuccessfully but this is the forst time that actual construction is now going on; one bridge has been finished, second one is in progress and several kilometers of road network are already being constructed.

“And of course the 2nd Niger Bridge has been in the news for a long time especially during election campaign period nut now all of the structures, piles, everything is complete now it’s just to finish the deck and the link road to Owerri. Abuja-Kano-Kaduna highway was last acted upon in 1991; it was awarded I think in 1985 by the Babangida administration and since 1991 no action there but we are working on that now. Then who can forget the Apapa-Oworonshoki expressway where many containers had fallen down killing people and damaging properties in the process. Since 1975 when it was completed, nothing of substance has been done but now we have a final solution because it is now being fully reconstructed with concrete and 29 out of 35 kilometers have been completed,” Fashola explained.

Bello Wakili