By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has called for stronger partnership with lending banks to reduce the nation’s infrastructure deficit, assuring of his administration’s full commitment to implement all agreements.
According to a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, the Oresident made the call while receiving the Board of African Export and Import Bank, AFREXIM, led by Dr Benedict Okey, at the Presidential Villa.
He said the Federal Government will keep “knocking on the doors’’ of the banks to participate more in building infrastructure and developing the real sector.
“We are grateful for the much you are doing for us, but we will continue to knock on your doors for more and more as we strive to overcome our infrastructure deficit.
“We realise that we do need money to fix the appalling state of infrastructure we met; to do roads, railways, power and communications – a sector now mostly in private hands which is doing very well.
“Don’t be tired of us. We will be coming to you again and again. Please accommodate us,’’ the President told the Board of AFREXIM.
Buhari added the nation already faced a challenge of fixing and putting in place long delayed infrastructure and will need strong partnerships for quick and better results.
The President said it was an honour for Nigeria to host AFREXIM’s Annual General Meeting and 25th Anniversary in Abuja.
In his remarks, the President and Chairman of AFREXIM Board of Directors, Oramah expressed satisfaction with the support of the Nigerian government in the operations of the bank, noting that the bank’s confidence in Nigeria justifies the huge loans it had granted to the country.
He said the 20,000 participants attending the Annual General Meeting had already expressed their satisfaction with the quality of arrangements for the event, which includes security.