Nigerian has about 200,000km road network which accounts for 95% of the domestic traffic flows of people, goods and services. The road network comprises of 33,000km Federal Highways, 50,000km State Highways and 117,000km Local Government feeder roads.
Road transportation plays a crucial role in the Nigerian economy being the dominant means of transportation in the country. In the past, huge sums of money have been spent on road development. However, these roads have been plagued by a number of problems, with the major ones being faulty designs, inadequate drainage system and poor maintenance culture, which have significantly reduced the utility of the roads.
The need for the reform of the Road Sector with a view to enhance road development, management and administration in line with international best practice in Nigeria led to the establishment of Road Sector Development Team (RSDT) with the assistance of the World Bank to ensure upgrading, rehabilitation, as well as periodic and routine maintenance activities on select federal roads through the Federal Roads Development Program (FRDP) credit framework agreement.
The FRDP, which is the prioritized section of the Road Sector Development and Maintenance Program (RSDMP), focus on select Federal Roads called “Unity Roads” representing the major transport corridors in the country. The program covers upgrading, rehabilitation, as well as periodic and routine maintenance activities on the “Unity Roads” for a period of ten (10) years on a continuous basis in three phases. Phase 1 was estimated at $750million (but reduced to $365 million following re-structuring out of which the IDA provide a loan of $330M; Japanese Grant $3M; and the FGN contribute $32M), Phase 2 is estimated at $625million, and Phase 3 at $635million all for a total of $2.0billion.
The Principal Development Objectives (PDO) of the Federal Road Development Project (FRDP) are:
- Improve travel time.
- Reduction in vehicle operating cost.
- Reduction in accident related fatalities by 50% at the end of the project.
Improved roads will reduce travel times and lower the cost of vehicle use, while increasing access to markets, jobs, education, and health services and reducing transport cost for both freight and passengers.
The Federal Roads Development Project is organized into three components to support both the implementation of the proposed reform and the financing of critically needed investments. The three main components as contained in the financing agreement are:
- Civil works.
- Institutional strengthening and capacity building.
- Road Safety
RSDT was established to effectively manage the implementation of the 10-Year Prioritized Road Sector Development and Maintenance Program in Nigeria.