Benneth Oghifo in Lagos, Hammed Shittu in Ilorin and Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The Minister of Information and Cultire, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s investment in infrastructure would soon translate into wealth for Nigerians.
The minister, who stated this while inspecting the reconstructed and rehabilitated Ilorin-Jebba- Mokwa road, yesterday, said, “Yes, people are complaining of no money and high cost of living, but I want to tell you that it would have been worse today but for the massive infrastructure development this government is investing on.
“When people make these complaints, they easily forget that for 16 years, one political party was in power, sharing money when this road became completely failed.
“APC in three years has fixed this road to this level. I think it speaks for itself.
“Before now, it takes about five days for trucks to move from Ilorin to Jebba. Today, it takes only two hours.
“Today on this road, you can see free movement of goods and services which is the beginning of revival of the economy,’’ he said.
According to him, we are not a government that will share money like what others did which put the country in a mess.
“This government believes in investing in infrastructure because if you get this right, it will translate to wealth creation.
“Let us take for instance, if this road contract costs N10 billion and we share it to political stooges in this area at N1 million each, we will only give 1,000 people and there will be no road.
“At the long run those that we share the money to will join in abusing the government of non performance.
“On our part, we will rather slowly and painstakingly revive our economy through infrastructure development and we have a lot of stories to tell on this.”
Asked whether government would toll the road to raise money for its completion to Birnin-Gwari in Kaduna and for its dualisation, Mohammed said, not all roads could be tolled.
“This matter came up at the last Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting and we agreed that not all roads could be tolled.
“The idea of tolling roads is to recoup the expenses on the construction and make them sustainable.
“A study is being compiled and at the end of it, it will be decided on what roads to toll and which not.
“The dualisation was awarded to the same contractor from Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa at the total contract sum of N130 billion.
“The Kwara State section of the dualisation was awarded at N80 billion, while the Niger State section was about N50 billion,” he said.
The Minister said the road which was constructed over 30 years ago was abandoned by motorists for not less than 10 years due to its complete collapse.
“Those trucks which had no alternative were spending three to five days to transit this 93,6km road from Ilorin to Jebba before the eventual intervention of the federal government.”