- The Buhari administration has reiterated that it will continue to prioritise spending on infrastructure and human capital to catalyze rapid economic development
- Finance minister, Hajia Zainab Ahmed buttressed this during a town hall meeting in the Nigerian capital, Abuja
- An initiative of the ministry of information and culture, the forum is geared towards highlighting the achievements of the present administration
FCT, Abuja - The minister of finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, has revealed that the federal government will spend N3.53 trillion on infrastructure and human capital development in the year 2022.
She stated this during a town hall meeting organised by the ministry of information and culture in Abuja on Tuesday, February 22, and attended by a Legit.ng reporter.
The minister said Nigeria’s huge and growing population offered both an economic challenge and opportunity in the light of constrained revenue proceeds brought on by several multi-dimensional factors, including the global pandemic and its impact on the local9 economy.
According to her, against the backdrop of the challenges, the Buhari administration has successfully implemented a range of infrastructure programmes that have had a positive impact on the lives and livelihoods of the ordinary Nigerian.
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She reiterated that good quality infrastructure is important, not only to engender and accelerate economic growth but also to ensure and enhance inclusive growth for all within a nation space.
“This administration continues to prioritise spending on infrastructure and human capital to catalyse rapid economic development. In 2022 alone, we plan to spend about N1.42 trillion on infrastructure and N2.11 trillion on human capital development.”
The minister also revealed that the federal government is currently awaiting consensus for it to sign a $3.387 billion loan agreement to execute 10 key projects across the country.
According to the minister, the projects are
1. Kano Urban Light Rail Project- (Phase I): US$673.2 million
2. Construction Of Lafia By-Pass Road And The Dualization Of 9th Mile (Enugu)-Otukpo-Makurdi Road Project: US$845.75 million
3. E-Border Solution: US$175.5 million.
4. Nigeria Electrification Project (Off-Grid): US$350 million
5. North Core Interconnection Power Transmission Line (Regional Project under West African Power Pool): US$32.3 million
6. Nigeria Electricity Transmission and Access Project: US$486 million.
7. Nigeria Electrification Project: US$200 million
8. Nigeria Transmission and Expansion Program: US$210 million, to be funded by the African Development Bank
9. Abuja Power Feeding Transmission Scheme: US$170 million, and
10. Northern Corridor Transmission Line: US$245 million to be funded by the French Development Bank.
In his welcome minister, the host and minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the Town Hall Meeting is aimed to showcase the achievements of the Buhari administration as the government gradually winds up.
He stated that:
“Other Town Hall Meetings scheduled for this year will focus on the Administration’s strides in the area of the National Social Investment Programme; fight against corruption; insecurity; national unity and the economy, among others,”
Alhaji Mohammed also dismissed insinuations in some quarters that the forums are a campaign strategy for the 2023 elections.
“This is the 21st Town Hall Meeting under the present administration since 2016 when we kick-started the first one in Lagos.
“Nobody should accuse us that it is only now that the election is approaching that we are holding the programme.
“The whole idea of the town hall meeting is to afford people the platform to hear the scorecards of the administration and at the same time exchange ideas.
“It is also a platform to showcase what the administration has done because more often than not what we hear is the negative aspect of governance.’’
Infrastructural development: FG stresses need for partnership with Nigerian engineers
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari recently charged Nigerian engineers to partner with the federal government for the rapid infrastructural development of the country.
The president said this on Saturday, January 22 during the investiture ceremony of the 33rd national president and chairman-in-council of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engineer Tasiu Sa’ad Gidari-Wudil, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
The president, who was the distinguished guest of honour and represented by the minister of science and technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, told the audience his administration has made significant progress in the infrastructural development of the country.
FG moves to re-energize six dry ports concessions in Nigeria
Meanwhile, in a bid to get the six Inland Container Depots (ICDs) located in each of the geo-political zones of Nigeria to become operational, the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) recently held a meeting with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council who are the owners of the project and the concessionaires.
The meeting, which was at the instance of the ICRC, sought to find solutions to the factors hindering the completion of the dry ports whose contracts were signed since 2006.
Acting Director-General of the commission, Michael Ohiani, who declared the meeting open, stressed that 16 years after the concession contracts were signed, some of the ICDs were still at 5% completion while only two had gotten to 55% and 68%, hence the need for the meeting.