2023 Budget: Experts Kicks Against N974bn FG Budget For Infrastructure.

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The Federal government has allocated the sum of N946.8bn to modernise infrastructure across the federation.

This was revealed after an analysis of the 2023 appropriation bill presented by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari(retd.), to the National Assembly in Abuja on Friday.

The sectors included in the budget are roads, railways, waterways, housing, electricity and infrastructure.

Analysis by our correspondent revealed that the proposed amounts are meant for federal agencies, ministries and schools, among others.

A further breakdown showed that N248.5bn was allocated for the construction, maintenance and rehabilitation of roads nationwide.

Some of the road projects include: the rehabilitation of Ikorodu-Shagamu Road including the access road to Mosimi in Lagos State at the cost of N100m; counterpart funding for the expansion of Abuja-Keffi dual carriageway; dualisation of Keffi-Akwanga-Lafia-Makurdi Road in Nasarawa and Benue states, and 9th Mile(Enugu)-Otukpo-Makurdi road in Enugu and Benue states phase 11, valued at N32.5bn.

They also include the dualisation of Obajana Junction to Benin phase 2: Section 11 (Okene to Auchi) at the cost of N5bn and N3m for the survey of basic market prices of roads and housing construction materials.

In housing, N32bn was budgeted for the construction of homes and related infrastructure. Some of the projects include: N13bn for the financing of multilateral/bilateral tied loans -family home funds housing, provision of infrastructure (road & drainage, electricity & water supply) for social housing in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State valued at N67.5m; N374m for the construction of 5,000 units of affordable housing in satellite towns (Wasa and Mamusa West); and payment of outstanding quantum of compensation for crops, economic trees, buildings and structures on lands acquired by the Federal Government in the six geo-political zones of the country valued at N50m.

Also, the analysis showed that N92.1bn would be expended on railways infrastructure while water transportation was to receive an allocation of N4.7bn.

Some of the railway projects include: the purchase of trains at the cost of N4.3bn; limited rehabilitation of internal roads in railway quarters, Nassarawa, Kano State valued at N25m; provision of electrical power supply and water supply; and the construction of protective fences along the corridor in Abraka, Oria, Oruwhorum, for Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Aladja railway system at the cost of N4bn.

According to the budget, N352.5bn would be spent on the provision of electricity whil N97.8bn is for infrastructural projects.

Reacting, a professor of Economics at Olabisi Onabanjo University, Prof. Sheriffdeen Tella, noted that the budget was not capable of solving the infrastructural decay in the country.

He said, “N946.8bn for infrastructure? That amount is inadequate to solve our challenges. Our infrastructural need is very huge, more so, when we are talking about different projects across the country that gulp a lot of money.

“I think it is to complete some of the ongoing projects, but it is still largely inadequate. Maybe the government will rely on extra-budgetary allocations for such because they have been doing that through Sukuk and the rest. Otherwise, that money is very inadequate given the level of infrastructural decay in the country.”

Similarly, a Professor of Economics, Adeola Adenikinju, said, “It is presumed that the government must have estimated how much it will cost to complete the ongoing projects, particularly our roads and rail projects.

“The government has shown its priority in completing the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, the 2nd Niger Bridge and rail lines. So, I assume that the government is trying to complete major infrastructural projects before handing them over to the next government.

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