Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Buhari committed more resources to infrastructure than Jonathan, Obasanjo – APC group

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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A group of the All Progressives Congress, under the aegis of APC Legacy Awareness & Campaign, APC-LAC, said that President Muhammadu Buhari-led’s administration committed more resources to infrastructure than any other administration since 1999.

In its weekly reports of Buhari’s legacies through a statement made available to newsmen Monday in Abuja, the APC group said more road and rail infrastructure are being built and or completed since Buhari assumed office in 2015 than in the sixteen years between 1999 and 2015.

The statement signed by some APC chieftains; including Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum, PGF, Salihu Lukman; APC youth leader, Ismail Ahmed; former APC National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu and a presidential aide, Tolu Ogunlesi, said with a diverse mix of financing options in place, the Buhari administration has broken Nigeria’s decades-old infrastructure development jinx and set new standards for future administrations to build upon.

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The statement said: “From the start, President Buhari promised to complete as many abandoned projects as possible, and he has worked hard to fulfil this promise. His administration has committed more resources to Infrastructure than any other administration since 1999.

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“It is no coincidence that the last time Nigeria saw an infrastructure revolution on this scale was during the period, in the late 1990s, when the President ran the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF).

“Beyond the focus on completing inherited and abandoned projects, the Buhari Administration has creatively unlocked public and private sector financing for infrastructure in Nigeria, through such initiatives as the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), the Infrastructure Company (InfraCo), the Highway Development Management Initiative (HDMI), the Sovereign Sukuk Bonds (that have collectively raised close to a billion dollars), and the Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme.

“Between them these initiatives cover thousands of kilometres of critical roads and will mobilize several billions of dollars in public and private financing.

“This week, the President will commission the 156km Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Rail, the first double-track Standard Gauge Rail project in West Africa (and the first Standard Gauge Rail project in Nigeria to be started and completed by the same administration).

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“This landmark commissioning is taking place nine months after he commissioned the 327km Itakpe-Warri Standard Gauge Rail, completed by his administration 33 years after construction began.  The 168km Abuja-Kaduna Rail project, and the 42.5km Abuja Light Rail project, both inherited from previous administrations, were completed in 2016 and 2018 respectively.

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“The second Niger Bridge, originally conceived decades ago, is now more than 50 percent completed, and scheduled for commissioning in 2022, as is the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, which has defied every administration since 1999.

“Other landmark projects being completed include the Bodo-Bonny Road in Rivers State, Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki Expressway, Loko-Oweto Bridge connecting Benue and Nasarawa States across the River Benue, Port Harcourt-Enugu Expressway, East-West Road (across Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom and Cross River States), the new Ikom Bridge in Cross River, Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway, Keffi-Akwanga-Lafia-Makurdi Road, and many more.

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“New International Airport Terminals have been completed and commissioned in Abuja and Port Harcourt, while those in Lagos and Kano are being completed. In addition, brand new Runways have been constructed in Abuja and Enugu, in 2017 and 2020 respectively.

“Off-grid solar and gas electrification programmes are being rolled out for homes, markets, educational institutions (Federal Universities, Unity Schools, Primary Healthcare Centers); and a National Mass Metering Programme launched in 2020 will deliver 6 million new electricity meters nationwide.

“The Administration is also enabling and supporting the private sector to invest in critical infrastructure. Finally, a brand new Deep Sea Port is being constructed, in Lagos, the first new Deep Sea Port in the country in more than four decades; while ground-breaking for a second private-sector-funded Deep Sea Port (in Bonny) took place in March 2021.”

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