Repair of the Apapa ports road is a priority to the Federal Government, Minister of Power, Works and Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola has said.
Speaking with reporters in Abuja at the weekend after the ministry’s retreat, Fashola said arrangements for the deployment of an enduring solution on Wharf Road would soon be concluded.
Some companies, he said, had agreed to work with government to fix Wharf Road, adding that the design and other requirements for the road were ready.
What was left now was to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) before seeking the Federal Executive Council’s (FEC)’s approval, the minister said.
Fashola said: “I just want to appeal to residents of Apapa, to people whose livelihood depends on Apapa, that Apapa is one of the priority roads under our priority of works to save roads that lead to critical ports. We also have Calabar on our radar. But one by one there would be an enduring solution. We have done the design, we have done everything for Apapa, it is ready. It is going to be a concrete road, I believe, that will last another 30 years. So we are close to starting work.”
Fashola also said the government wanted to be clear whether what the companies were offering was Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or they wanted a tax refund for what they were offering, adding that the challenge of inadequate budgetary allocation had affected the roads over the years.
“Year on year, you will see that the provisions for the budget funding of Apapa and the Tin Can Island and Mile 2 – Oworonshoki Roads, all of which evacuate the Port have not been sufficient really to deal with the cost”, he said.
Fashola added: “The cost that we are getting from the contractor there is in the region of about N100billion and above and the annual budgetary appropriation that is approved for us is about N7 billion. And then there are debts that we met”.