The minister of Works, Arch Mike Onolememen, has disclosed that in order for Nigeria, to sustain an economy commensurate with the Million Development Goal, it needed an increase in the total road network from the current 193,000km to over 300,000km.
The minister who was speaking during the Extra Ordinary General Meeting of the Association of Consulting Engineers, Nigeria (ACEN), also disclosed that the construction and paving of an average 14,000km of roads every year required an estimated N600b per year, adding that paved network of roads have to increase from the current 60000 to over 200,000 by 2020
The minister who was represented by the minister of state for works, Amb Bashir Yuguda, stated that Nigeria cannot overcome road infrastructure development challenges unless reforms were instituted to reposition the road sector and bring it to level commensurate with its peers in the developed and emerging nations of the world.
"We know that private sector involvement in the development of the road sector would not yield the desired results until the institutional reform is implemented. It is in the light of this that the October 18, 2011, I inaugurated the Committee for Road Sector Reform which arrived at the preferred model for toad sector reform submitted two draft bills: the National Road Fund and the Federal Roads Authority", he said.
He also identified private sector participation in the development of the road sector as a sustainable approach to tackle the road infrastructure deficit adding that government has put in place adequate mechanism to ensure favorable climate for investors though Public Private Partnership (PPP).
Earlier in his address, the president of ACEN, Engr Nuruddeen Rafindadi, emphasized the need for the participation of private sectors, and professional in the development of the country's road sector.
Rafindadi who commended the minister for effort to bring about development of the roads in the country, stated that the association has picked the theme, 'Road Sector Reform and Engineering Practice,' for its meeting due to how important the road sector is to the development of the country.