If the Federal Government will meet Vision 20-2020 goals, about N600 billion needs to be available to build 14,000 kilometres of roads annually.
Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, who made this known in Abuja yesterday, while speaking at a one-day public lecture organised by the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria, APWEN, on the theme Road Sector Reform for Sustainable Roads Development, said Nigerians spent same amount (N600 billion) needed to fix roads to import vehicles into the country yearly.
According to Onolememen, for Nigeria to move toward a sustainable economy commensurate with Vision 20-2020, there was need to increase the total road network from the current 200,000km to 300,000km by 2020. The paved network would also need to be increased from the current 65,000km to over 200,000km, also by 2020.
The minister said the situation would require the construction or paving of an average 14,000km of roads every year at the cost of N600 billion annually.
“The point has been made several times that Nigeria cannot overcome its road infrastructure development challenges unless necessary reforms are embarked upon to reposition the road sector to meet up with the world.
“Vision 20-2020 requires that Nigeria attains a GDP of, at least, 900 billion dollars by the year 2020 and GDP per capita of at least 4,000 dollars.
“Experience has shown that there is a direct link between economic growth and the size and condition of road networks. Thus, for every one dollar spent on road maintenance, there is a corresponding increase in the nation’s GDP.”