By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Legacy Awareness and Campaign Group, has said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is setting a new pace in infrastructure development in Nigeria, driving growth and prosperity.
In a statement issued jointly yesterday by Salihu Lukman, Alhaji Ismail Ahmed and Lanre Isss-Ojilu, the group said that more roads and rail infrastructure had been built or completed since Buhari assumed office in 2015, than in the 16 years of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s administration.
He added from the start, Buhari promised to complete as many abandoned projects as possible and had worked hard to fulfil that promise.
“His administration has committed more resources to infrastructure than any other administration since 1999.
“It is no coincidence that the last time Nigeria saw an infrastructure revolution of this scale was in the late 1990s, when Buhari was in charge of 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,” Ahmed said.
He said the administration achieved this through initiatives like Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), the Infrastructure Company (InfraCo) and the Highway Development Management Initiative (HDMI) among others.
They added that the president would soon commission the 156km Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Rail and the first double-track Standard Gauge Rail project in West Africa among others.
“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 project began,” he said.
Ahmed said that the 168km Abuja-Kaduna rail project, and the 42.5km Abuja light rail project inherited from previous administrations were completed in 2016 and 2018 respectively by the government.
He added that the second Niger Bridge, conceived decades ago, was more than 50 per cent completed and has been for commissioning in the first quarter of 2022.
Ahmed said that other landmark projects being executed by the administration included; the Bodo-Bonny Road in Rivers, Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki expressway and Loko-Oweto bridge connecting Benue and Nasarawa.
He said new International Airport terminals had also been completed and commissioned in Abuja and Port Harcourt, while those in Lagos and Kano were being completed by the administration.
“In addition, brand new runways were 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 and Primary Healthcare Centers,” he said.
He said the administration also had in place a National Mass Metering Programme launched in 2020 that would deliver 6 million new electricity meters nationwide.
According to him, the administration is also enabling and supporting the private sector to invest in critical infrastructure and is constructing a brand new deep sea port in Lagos.
Ahmed stressed that the Buhari administration had broken Nigeria’s decades-old infrastructure development jinx and set new standards for future administrations to build upon.