- The minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, says the Buhari administration is investing massively on roads and other critical infrastructure
- He states that work is ongoing on the Kano to Maiduguri road and the Lagos Ibadan express way
- The minister says many contractors have been recalled to the roads projects they abandoned during the previous administration
The minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, said the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration should not be blamed for the infrastructural deficit in the country.
The minister stated this on Monday, October 2, when he featured alongside other guests on the Nigeria Television Authority programme, Good Morning Nigeria, which focussed on Nigeria at 57.
Mohammed said that the administration was investing massively on roads, power, housing, Railway and other critical infrastructure, not leaving out the social well being of the citizens.
He, however, observed that because of the level of decay and abandonment of the infrastructure by the previous administration, the efforts of government might not manifest immediately.
Specifically, Mohammed said that the government was working on the 220-kilometre Enugu to Port Harbour express way as well as other major road networks in the South East.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), he said that work was ongoing on the Kano to Maiduguri road and the Lagos Ibadan express way to mention but a few.
“We do not get to the situation where we get into overnight and we should not expect to get out of it overnight
“If you look at what the government inherited and where we are today it is clear that the government has remained focused and the solutions proferred to our challenges are working.
“When we came in, the economy was over dependent on oil and today the recovery is being driven by agriculture, mining creative industry and manufacturing which means our diversification programme is working.
“It has never happened in the history of the country that a government will spend N1.2 trillion in capital expenditure like the Administration did and we are seeing the positive results have helped us to get out of recession.” he said
The minister further explained that: "in 2015 the past administration spent only N18 billion on roads but in 2016/2017 circle this government spent N260 billion on roads and bridges.
“The last administration spent only N5 billion on power, this administration has spent over N90 billion on power: In housing the last administration spent N8 billion while we have spent N70 billio.”
The minister said that many contractors had been recalled to the roads projects they abandoned during the previous administration resulting in creating of over 17000 direct jobs and 15000 indirect jobs from roads.
On power, the minister said that when the administration came in May 2015, only 2690 megawatts was generated but today the country is generating over 7000 megawatts.
He said inflation had been coming down, and the government had revived 12 fertiliser blending companies to boost agriculture.
He urged Nigerians to judge the administration in contest of what it inherited from previous Administration and where the country is today.
On the clamour for restructuring, the minister said that the issue has many sides and the focal point must be constitution amendment through the National Assembly.
“Restructuring means different thing to different people and that is why we have the debate that is going on now to collate the various ideas of Nigerians as to what restructuring means in order to know what exactly to do.
“To some. restructuring means going back to the former three of four regions, to some it means creation of additional states as was proposed in the 2014 Confab
“To some, restructuring means resource control, to some it means devolution of more power to states while to some it means state police
“Let us collate and aggregate what Nigerians mean by restructuring and of course we still need to go back to National Assembly if we want to effect any change in the constitution,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lai Mohammed has said that Nigeria does not require the permission of foreign countries to declare a group as a terrorist organisation.
The minister’s statement was in reaction to the position of some foreign countries regarding the proscription of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) and its declaration as a terrorist group.
The Punch reports that the minister spoke on Sunday, October 1 where he said Nigeria was a sovereign country that has the right to make decisions that concerns it.
He said the country would not get involved in the internal affairs of other country and asked foreign countries to also respect Nigeria’s sovereignty.
A ride on the Abuja-Kaduna railway on NAIJ.com TV