The Federal Government is set to pay states that have used their resources to rehabilitate federal roads in their areas.
Speaking Thursday in Katsina State, Minister of Power, Works, and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, said President Muhammadu Buhari has assured to pay the debt.
Fashola, who was speaking at the 22nd meeting of National Council of Works, said a committee was set up under his leadership and recommendations have been made to the government on the matter. He said the ministry inherited roads liability of N2 trillion, but that only a budget of N18 billion was made last year for road projects.
He, however, said the current government improved upon it and budgeted N226 billion this year for road projects, and that N73 billion has been paid between June and July in liabilities.
The minister said some petrol tanker drivers were in the habit of overloading products, saying some of them were ferrying 60,000 litres of petrol instead of the lawful 33,000 litres.
He said their actions were detrimental to the lifespan of the roads, even as he warned petrol tankers to desist from such illegal activities or face the consequences.
Fashola said roads that help access mining areas, evacuate fuel, cargoes at sea, and roads that allow for heavier traffic would be given priority in road projects to be executed in the country.
He, however, said that the 45.7 meters right- of-way would be enforced, while the ministry is to carry out intervention on roads across the states of the federation on a yearly basis.
He said Federal Controllers of Roads at the states would henceforth be held accountable for the quality of roads in their various states.
He called on them to liaise with stakeholders including traditional rulers and government, to achieve the objective of quality federal roads at the states level.
He said contractors handling road projects would henceforth not be paid by the government till they are confirmed to have insurance cover for their workers.
Governor Aminu Bello Masari, on his part, lamented problem of overloading of vehicles on the nation’s highways, with the call on relevant agencies to check the menace.
He said several crimes committed in the state and elsewhere were often by motorcycle owners, and that such was another issue that needed be addressed.