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'Democracy has not impacted infrastructure'

29 May 2013, 16:33

Lagos - Nnaemeka Obiaraeri, Managing Director at Tarus Capital, has said that Nigeria’s new democratic dispensation since 1999 had no impact on the nation’s infrastructure.

Obiaraeri told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday that corruption had been the bane of infrastructure development since 1999.

He was speaking on the gains from democracy as Nigeria marks Democracy Day.

"Nothing good has happened in the fight against corruption since 1999.

"Practically half of the funds meant to be spent on the provision of public utilities are stolen through corruption.

"Unfortunately corruption is becoming a way of life to us.  It is our corrupt tendencies that have caused us to fall short of becoming one of the best economies in the world, `` he said.

Obiaraeri said that one of the major dividends of democracy should have been the development of infrastructure because of its importance to the economy.

"We have the capacity of being self-reliant and highly industrialised if we can have constant power supply and a functional rail transport system, `` he said.

He said that diversification of the economic base away from crude oil exports and promotion of non-oil exports is essential.

Obiaraeri said that the democracy however had a positive on the development of road networks and telecommunications sector.

"Before now, I used to spend over nine hours from Lagos to the eastern part of the country, but now the journey time has reduced drastically," he said.



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