The Federal Government remains focused on its plans and has taken steps to ensure that critical projects such as the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the 2nd Niger Bridge do not suffer from lack of funds.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said this on Friday when he visited the Headquarters of Channels Television in Lagos.
“The good news is that we put together the Presidential Infrastructure Fund which is being managed by the Sovereign Investment Authority with a seed fund of $1.3 billion to ensure that five critical projects will not suffer from funding,” he said.
“They are the East-West Road, the 2nd Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the Mambila Hydroelectric Power and the Abuja-Kano Road.”
Beyond the critical projects, the minister believes the Federal Government deserves credit for what it is doing in terms of infrastructure and how it approached projects started by previous administrations.
“The important thing is for the government to remain focused and have a blueprint. And it is to the credit of this administration that we did not abandon any project that we inherited,” he said.
“Most of the commissioning that we are doing today are projects that we met and adopted, some at 16 percent completion, some at 20 percent completion.”
Some of the projects such as the Abuja-Kaduna rail have been completed and others are being worked on.
The Minister recently led a team to inspect ongoing projects in parts of the country and he is pleased with the progress being made.
He said, “I was at Ilorin, Jebba, Mokwa road about three weeks ago. Those who are familiar with that road will tell you that, a year or two ago, it will take you four days, not hours, to travel from Ilorin to Jebba. Today, the 93 kilometre road has been completed and it takes you just under two hours to travel from Ilorin to Jebba and to Mokwa.
“I went with my team to visit the South-East and the South-South and the trip took us from Enugu to Onitsha where we went to inspect the 2nd Niger Bridge and the media saw that progress has been made since we came.
“Before we came in, only N200 million had been paid for that project. As of today, over N4.6 billion has been paid for that project.”
The second leg of the minister’s trip (inspecting projects) took him to the road from Enugu through Umuahia to Aba and from Aba to Port Harcourt.
“It is a 240 kilometre Road; and, averagely, we’ve been able to achieve about 38 to 40 percent completion,” he said, adding that funds secured by the government through the issuance of bonds would also be vital to the execution of projects.
“We secured a Sukuk bond of N100bn and we divided into six equal parts for each of the geopolitical zones to fund 25 critical roads and bridges in each zone.
“So, the government remains determined and focused on providing infrastructure, the government remains focused on providing power and our social investment programmes tries to ensure that no one is left behind.”