The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said the country will require N1.3 trillion to fix its roads in 2022.
He also said the federal government is owing certified contractors N420 billion for road construction.
Mr Fashola stated this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Works Wednesday to defend the allocation to the ministry in the 2022 budget.
The allocation to the ministry in the 2022 estimate is N450 billion out of which N282.6 billion is proposed for the execution of roads
The minister decried the low budgetary allocations to road construction in Nigeria.
Mr Fashola said the country needs N1.3 trillion to fix roads in 2022 and that to salvage the situation, the government has resolved to prioritise some major projects.
The former governor of Lagos State said the government will give priority to roads and bridges that lead to ports and major agricultural hubs.
He said the country is currently undertaking 854 highways at a total contract sum of N7.43 trillion spread across the six geopolitical zones.
Giving the 2021 budget performance of the ministry, he said out of the N347 billion allocated for capital expenditure in 2021, N182.9 billion has been released for works and housing projects.
In view of the fiscal constraints, Mr Fashola said the country needs to place an embargo on new projects, rather, efforts should be placed on completing the existing projects.
He argued that lawmakers can even devote their zonal intervention projects fund to the construction of roads in their constituencies.
“With the inflation and everything, there must come a time and I think that time is now; Mr Chairman and honourable members, enough of new roads and new projects.
“Let us concentrate our limited resources to complete or progress some of what we have started; in finding the solution, I will be happy, there are a couple of roads in Osun and we cannot finish all of them in one budget circle.
“If the parliamentarians from each state can come together and say, this is on priority project for us and decide that let us move our zonal intervention project and say this is what we want to achieve; it is an honest conversation we must have,” he said.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Committee, Abubakar Kabiru (APC, Kano), said the government needs to seek alternative funding for road construction rehabilitation.