Nigerians should not expect new road projects in the country for the next 12 months, Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has revealed.
Osinbajo disclosed this yesterday at the ongoing economy forum being organised by The Nation Newspaper even as he urged Nigerians to exercise patience as the government tries to tackle the lingering power and oil scarcity challenges facing the economy.
The Vice President, who discussed the various economic policies being embarked upon by the current administration, said while building transport infrastructure has been identified as critical to the nation’s economic reformation, the government has decided to complete existing road projects rather than awarding contracts for fresh, new roads.
“Our priority critical infrastructures are roads, rails and power. Already, we have decided not to build new roads but to embark on rehabilitation and completion of existing ongoing or abandoned road projects.
“Roads, in particular will be extremely important to our economy strategy. We are not building new roads projects. There is no need to award new projects.
“The strategy is to ensure that we are able to complete all roads that have highly strategic economic values.
“Consequently, 31 major road projects across the country have been identified and this is what we are focusing on as economic imperative in line our decision to ensure continuity in service delivery to Nigerians. Lagos- Ibadan Express road is one of those road projects, whose completion is critical to the nation’s economic growth,” he said.
Similarly, while noting that the power generation has dropped drastically in recent time, Osinbajo said one of the major challenges was the inability to transmit gas to power plants.
“We intend to stabilise power supply and one of the steps we are taking is to get gas to power plants. We have noted that aside vandalism, there are several gas-to-power projects that have been abandoned over the years and we are trying to complete them.
The power is in the West while gas is in the East. So, transmitting the gas to the power plants in the West is a task” he said. On the rail system, the Osinbajo explained that the government would complete two of the rail projects which are considered highly critical to the nation.
He said President Muhammadu Buahri will be in China shortly to tie up deals with the Chinese government with a view to completing the Lagos- Kano rail road and Lagos- Calabar coastal rail road.
While explaining that the government has identified 33 priority actions to be taken, including achieving foreign exchange regime that aligns with the country’s fiscal policy; attraction of single-digit lending rate to the road and agricultural sectors; efficient public financial management reforms, as part of effort to sanitise the economy of ghost worker syndrome and other forms of corruption in public services.
“For instance, through our financial management reforms in the ministries, departments and agencies. We have been able to flush 23,000 ghost workers out of the system. There is huge number of ghost workers in the system.”
Source: New Telegraph Newspaper