Fashola: Buhari Has Done Better than US in Terms of Infrastructure

Babatunde Raji Fashola

*Says comparing APC to PDP is disingenuous

Ibrahim Shuaibu

Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, yesterday, said the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had done better than the United States government in the area of infrastructure. Fashola stated this in Kano during the “APC Conversation Series”, an initiative of the party to create awareness on its achievements in the last seven years.

The minister said, “I can assure you that the present APC administration of President Buhari has achieved what even the US government is trying to do in terms of infrastructure. As of December 2021, we have completed 941 kilometres of roads across all states and geo-political zones.

“In Kano State here, for instance, there are 21 road projects either around or in the neighbouring communities. Before the APC administration, when was the last time you remember the federal government completing a 50-kilometre road in any part of the country?

“So, this is the positive change we promised Nigerians in 2015 and it is already happening. They say we are the same as them, but we are not. They stole money and took it abroad, but we are taking this money back and investing it in the area of infrastructure.”

The former Lagos State governor said, presently, there were 850 on-going projects under his ministry, including road and bridge construction as well as houses in 34 states.

The minister said no government could complete all its projects, hence, the need to vote APC again to ensure continuity.
On the controversial issue of constant borrowing, Fashola said it was necessary, as all the projects being carried out were important. Though he lamented that payment of compensation by the affected states was a major challenge facing the Kano-Katsina road construction project.

Speaking at Gidan Mutum Daya, the Kano-Katsina border, while inspecting the on-going road construction, Fashola said, “We are making progress, although it comes with its challenges; the challenge of dualising what was a single lane road into a dual carriageway, to make it more conducive for increased volume of traffic.

“It, therefore, means we will have to relocate buildings, markets, electricity poles, and so on. And, some of these come with the challenge of payment of compensation as provided by law, that is essentially the state’s responsibility.
“This includes settlement of properties and lands affected by the project as well as for right of way, and this is actually part of what is delaying this project.”

Fashola said Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje had promised to address the compensation issue as soon as possible.
He added, “We are working with contractors to build where there are no compensation issues, so, we are jumping the difficult areas, but we will come back to it.”

The minister said funding had never been an issue with regard to the Kano-Katsina road project, stressing that it is part of the SUKUK-funded projects, and Buhari has been releasing money for it.

He explained that the present administration’s commitment to infrastructure was part of its determination to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.