By Miriam Humbe
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works, Dr. Abubakar Muhammad has called for the immediate passage of the ministry’s draft bills before the National Assembly, the Federal Roads Authority, FRA bill and National Roads Fund, NRF bill.
Dr. Muhammad made the call in his keynote address at the 18th edition of the annual national conference of directors of civil engineering, themed: Funding road development in Nigeria, a panacea for economic transformation in Abuja yesterday.
According to him, when passed into law, the bills will not only attract huge private sector funds required to fill the funding gap in the development of road infrastructure, but also lead to the creation of more business opportunities for engineering professionals and jobs for Nigerians.
Muhammad commended the federal government’s intervention in the roads sector development through the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, which he said, has assisted the ministry in bridging the funding gap in selected highway projects.
“It is hoped that this conference will assist government to come up with best options for funding road sector in order to enhance socio-economic development”, he said.
The conference was held ahead of the Council of Works meeting slated for September in Asaba, Delta state aimed at coming up with an agreed policy to be presented for deliberation during the September meeting.