The Federal Government has approved the sum of N185bn for the construction and dualisation of the Calabar-Itu highway.
The amount was part of the N600bn raised from the tax credit window by the Federal Inland Revenue Service from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation to fund critical infrastructure in the country.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President, Major Gen Mohammadu Buhari (retd.), on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang disclosed this while briefing newsmen after a tour of the project on Wednesday.
He said the project was awarded in three tranches, adding that the first phase was awarded to Julius Berger to the tune of N54 bn which started construction from Odukpani in Cross River and Ibiono axis in Akwa Ibom states until it went on holiday.
He added that the sum N52bn was approved for the Chinese Civil Engineering and Construction Company while SEMATECH was given the sum of N79bn to do the road construction and four bridges.
The Presidential Aide who attributed the delay in the construction of the road to lack of funds assured that with the funds readily available the project would be completed with dualised carriage by April 2023.
“We have been having problems getting funding for the road, but Mr President has asked me to assure you that we raised money from the tax credit window from Federal Inland Revenue Service to the NNPC to fund critical infrastructure mainly road infrastructure.
“Out of the over N600billion raised from NNPC as tax credit, a great part that is N185bn has been dedicated to this road. The road was awarded in three tranches. The first money that was available was N54bn and was for Julius Berger, N52bn to CCECC and the last N79bn to SEMATECH engineering.
“This road was designed for dualization since 1972 and only one lane of the four lanes was constructed believing that others would be constructed since then. Thank God, President Mohammadu Buhari has started constructing other lanes with four bridges and he has promised to complete it within the time frame,” Enang said.
He urged the people to be patient and cooperative with contractors handling the project.