President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s commitment to infrastructural development “can be seen from the hundreds of ongoing projects spread across the country”.
The Minister of State for Works and Housing, Engineer Abubakar D. Aliyu, disclosed this while hosting a delegation of Yobe State All Progressives Congress (APC) Social Media Forum in his office in Abuja on Tuesday.
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He said decades of neglect by previous administrations have made roads to collapse, rendering the majority of them death traps.
Engr Aliyu said when President Buhari administration came on board in 2015, it realized and acknowledged the fact that Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit has been one of the biggest factors holding back growth and development of the country.
“The priority for infrastructure by the past administration can be seen from the budgetary allocations for the sector. For instance, the previous administration has provided not more than N16 billion for road projects in the 2015 budget inherited by the Buhari administration,” he said.
The minister, however, said “due to the commitment of the Buhari administration in overhauling the infrastructure base of the country, it has been allocating an average of N300 billion to roads and bridges in the last six years.”
He said there are at least 800 ongoing capital projects, comprising those of roads and bridges spread across the country.
He said because of the decades-long neglect, “majority of the roads require total reconstruction instead of repairs.”
He said despite the slide in crude oil prices, the administration is trying to diversify its funding sources and ensure the completion of all the projects.
In 2018, President Buhari’s administration established the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) to fast-track the completion of critical infrastructure projects.
Buhari also signed the Executive Order 7 (Companies Income Tax Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme) in 2019 to attract PPP financing for road construction across Nigeria.
He said in 2017, the Buhari Administration identified and marked out 63 roads across the country, including 44 federal highways, which linked up trade, commerce, port, and agricultural centres across the six geopolitical zones of the country, classified under Critical Economic Routes and Agricultural Routes.
Earlier in his speech, the leader of the delegation, Arc Sule Musa Damagum, said they came to the minister to convey their appreciation to President Buhari’s commitment to security and project implementation across the country.