Nigeria Government Borrowings justified through Infrastructure – Minister

Jack Acheme, Kano

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The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola says the President Mohammed Buhari led administration in Nigeria has justified all its foreign and local debts through the construction of various infrastructures across the nation, which has greatly impacted on the socio-economic wellbeing of the citizens.

Fashola stated this at the 28th Annual National Council of Works meeting held in Kano north Western Nigeria.

He said the ongoing projects across the country had justified the debts, especially when compared with what the previous administrations had done.

“Our first budget in 2016 was over N250bn, up from the N18 billion we met in 2015. That was an increase of over a thousand percent, even though the price of crude oil was dropping, we did not raise taxes,” said Fashola.

Minister explained that the Federal Government through the introduction of SUKUK and PBIS has been able to deliver more than 1,800 kilometers of roads across the six geo-political zones in the country so far, with impact on the socio-economic lives of the people.

“Over three Hundred thousand Nigerians have been employed through the infrastructural development initiatives of the ministry of works. We were employing people at the time when industries and manufacturers were disengaging people due to recession. This initiative has impacted on the Socio-economic wellbeing of Nigerians,”  he said.

He expressed determination of the government to complete all the ongoing projects before the expiration of its tenure in May next year.

The minister also harped on the need to introduce weighing bridge across roads in the country to reduce overloading by vehicles, which invariably destroy the roads, calling for stiffer penalties against violators.

“When those weighing Bridges are introduced any vehicle that surpasses the carriage capacity of the road should be impounded. Imaging when a road is built with carriage capacity  of 44 tons and a vehicles loads 100 tons to pass on it, the excess load destroys that road. This where Road safety and other road managers can come in,” he said.

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State said there was a need for synergy between the federal highways and states to achieve the set objectives.
He commended the Buhari administration for initiating various projects in Kano state, the second biggest commercial city in Nigeria which spans through roads, railways among others.

The five-day council meeting which started on Monday with the theme: “Infrastructure, the season of completion,” ends on Friday. It brought together various stakeholders from across country.


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