Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed has lashed out at critics who say the administration of the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.), has failed in the area of economic development.
He said that such claims are born out of ignorance since infrastructure “is a key driver of economic development.”
He explained this when giving his keynote speech at the ongoing 18th edition of the PMB scorecard series.
“Critics of the Administration often say that although it has done well in the area of infrastructure, it has not done well in the area of the economy. With all due respect, the statements
thus they are born of ignorance”.
“Let me say that the Buhari Administration stands ready to deliver another democracy dividend to
nigerians. As he is aware, the much-vaunted Second Bridge over Niger has been completed and will soon be operational. Well, I’m pleased to announce today that another high-value road and bridge are ready for commissioning in the coming weeks.”
“I am talking here about the 2,055 km Loko-Oweto bridge over the Benue River and the 74 km Nasarawa-Loko highway linking Nasarawa and Benue states. The highway and bridge are a game changer and an economic boost for the two states in particular and the nation in general.”
“As you know, critics of the Administration often say that while it has done well in the area of infrastructure, it has not done well in the area of the economy. With all due respect, statements like this are born out of ignorance. This is because infrastructure is a key driver of economic development, which means that when you build modern infrastructure as this Administration is doing, you are actually putting in place the building blocks of economic and social development. When you build roads and bridges, you create jobs, since you employ workers, you activate economic activities, since you buy sand, granite, cement and others
building materials, a mini-economy is created around the construction site as food vendors and others converge there to meet the needs of the workers.”
“Let me illustrate this further with the Nasarawa-Loko highway and the Loko-Oweto bridge. These infrastructures alone have shortened the journey from the eastern part of the country to Abuja by three hours! Travelers coming from Enugu to Abuja today, who have no business in Lafia, can
come directly to Abuja via Keffi, thus saving three hours as a result of the completion of this bridge and its access road. In addition, the 74-kilometre road between Loko and Keffi used to take about 3 hours because it was unpaved. Today, however, with the completion of the highway, the same trip takes only 30 minutes. With the saying that time is money, you can imagine the economic implication of the time saved. Second, the highway and bridge projects came with the electrification of the surrounding communities. The provision of electricity means more economic activities for people and, of course, more jobs.”
“Third, the communities that these facilities pass through, which are farming and fishing communities, have received an economic boost and reduced waste by being able to more easily evacuate their products and also conserve them. And finally, the communities, now provided with better access through the road and the bridge, are witnessing an increase in mining, agricultural, fishing, commercial activities, etc. The Nasarawa-Loko Highway and the Loko-Oweto Bridge are clear testimonials to the role of infrastructure in economic and social development.”
“Through its massive infrastructure development that spans the entire country, the Buhari Administration is building, block by block, a new Nigeria, fostering economic and social development and catalyzing shared prosperity. With the completion of the Nasarawa-Loko highway and the Loko-Oweto bridge, another legacy of the Buhari Administration is secured.”