Abuja - Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to
the President on Media and Publicity, has said that Nigeria is taking a giant
leap in infrastructure development as part of deliberate efforts to pull the
economy out of recession.
A statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by the Deputy
Director of Information, State House, Abuja, Mr Attah Esa, said Shehu stated
this in an interview programme on Express Radio in Kano.
The Presidential spokesman said the President Buhari-led
administration had chosen to fast track projects related to infrastructure in
order to pump money into the economy as a way of pulling the economy out of
According to Shehu, the Buhari administration had embarked
on infrastructure development by speeding up ongoing projects and investing
heavily in the construction and repair of highways, railways and power
generating plants across the country.
“To this end, an unprecedented amount of N750 billion has
been released for capital projects in the last five months and that counterpart
funds for the take-off of the 11 billion dollar Kano-Lagos rail project had
He said already a number of projects existing on paper were
being activated, citing the Kano-Katsina dual road project as an example of
what he called “deceitful and ghost projects now being given life.”
“Kano-Katsina dual highway was awarded three years ago by
the last administration.
“They didn’t pay a kobo for its start-up. President Buhari
just paid money for the first tranche of 75 kilometers and work has begun
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Shehu explained the essence of infrastructure in the
country’s economic and industrial take-off, describing it as the equivalent of
the arteries forming the bloodstream in the body.
“Without infrastructure, the country will not witness
On the resurgence of militancy and pipeline vandalism in the
Niger Delta region, the Presidential aide appealed to militants in the region
to maintain peace as “President Buhari seeks a permanent solution to the
problems that are worrisome to every citizen.
“We must keep national interest above all else and give
priority to eschewing violence and destruction.’’
He expressed regret that despite its good faith in pursuing
dialogue with the Niger Delta stakeholders, the militant groups had not
reciprocated the government’s good gesture in finding peaceful and lasting
solution to the crisis in the oil producing areas of Nigeria.
He said, “Despite the government’s practical demonstration
of goodwill by bringing the parties or stakeholders to the round table, the
militant groups have continued to blow up national economic assets.’’
According to him, the continued destruction of oil
installations, including those repaired, has thrown a spanner in the works,
causing enormous hardships on innocent Nigerians on account of declining oil
production output and massive losses of revenues.
He said this in turn, had badly affected the ability of
governments at all levels to meet their basic obligations, including payment of
While cautioning that violence brings no benefits to
anybody, Shehu appealed to Niger Delta leaders at all levels to exert every
influence they have to stop the violence and economic sabotage “so that normalcy
returns to the region.”
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