FG’s Investments in Roads, Bridges, Other Social Capital Projects Aimed at Creating Choice, Imminent Prosperity – Fashola

  • Says Lagos – Badagry Expressway, Second Niger Bridge, Others making rapid progress with dedicated funding


L- R Senior Correspondent The Punch Nnodim O. Victor, Head advert Punch Abuja Inoh Imeh, Head Abuja Punch Eniola Akinkuotu, Editor The Punch Adebabayo Oketola, Minister of Works & Housing Babatunde Raji Fasola, Editor weekend titles Mr Olusola Fabiyi, S. A to the Minister on communication Mr Hakeem Bello, Director P& PR Mrs Blessing Lere- Adams, Ag. Mgr. Advert Mary Stanley- Ubani in a group photograph after the courtesy call by the Representative of the Management of The Punch Nigeria Limited at the Ministry, Abuja on Monday 25th- July- 2022

The Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN has said that the commitment of the Federal Government to public assets like roads, bridges, ports, dam and other social capital investments is aimed at creating choice and imminent prosperity for the citizenry.

Noting that the choice would come in form of reduced journey time and better travel experience, the Minister also assured that the Federal Government will complete Lagos-Badagry Expressway, the Second Niger Bridge and other critical road transport infrastructure of the nation soon.

Fashola, who spoke while hosting a team of senior management staff from the PUNCH Newspapers, led by the PUNCH Editor, Mr Dayo Oketola, said that the Federal Government has gotten N16bn Tax Credit Fund for the construction of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.

Fashola stated that the speed of work on that road, as well as some others, were dependent on the funds available for such projects adding that with the Tax Credit Fund work was progressing substantially on that axis.

Defending borrowing to finance infrastructure, he said, the Buhari Administration has paid over N700 billion since coming into government which was part of the debt left by previous Administrations.

According to the Minister, borrowing as an essential component of public finance becomes necessary in order to be able to respond to the unceasing request for vital infrastructure from the citizenry.

“The public assets – roads, bridges, highways, ports, dams are the social capital investments that the government must make” for individuals and businesses to get on with their life.

According to the Minister, such investments create choice and ultimately prosperity. “All of us know the impact of choice in our lives, if you have to wear only one clothe as against if you have four… You are going to have two Bridges across the Niger, it’s a sign of imminent prosperity, that is what is being done now…”

Explaining that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was responding to the infrastructural needs of the various parts of the country through a combination of borrowing and various innovative funding initiatives.

“You are complaining about debt, where do you think, money is going to come from to build the Badagry road? So that is why there was no progress on it in the past.”

He added, “But the reason why there has been an appreciable progress now on that road is because we got Tax Credit Fund for it.’’

On the Lagos-Ota Road, Fashola said the contract sum was over N50bn, “but go and look in the budget and see how much is there (for the road), may be N200m,” adding that with the injection of N7bn this year work progressed on the road.

Speaking on the forthcoming election, Fashola opined that it was important to have the next election focus on the issue of public financing knowledge because often times the nation go into election without debate about funding and to find out where the money is going to come from when aspirants make promises.

“Somebody has to pay for it. It is either debt or increase on taxation or better still through private investment, this, the Ministry is currently doing  something in that direction through the Tax Credit Scheme, the Highway Development Management Initiative which is trying to concession 12 highways.”

Responding to the question on subsidy, the Minister stated that, what a Nation wants to do is determined by its leadership and that the issue of subsidy would be best addressed by the Nigerian people themselves through their representatives at the National Assembly.

“I agreed that the amount of money that is committed to a single product in terms of subsidy is a matter for concern and I think it is a debate we have shied  away from. The matter is a combination of policy and economy and cannot be separated.”  He added that if it were simply an economic  decision, it would have been removed.

“So, it is the decision of  the Nigerian people. If they take that decision, government will implement it,” he said.

Earlier, the leader of the  Nigerian Punch Newspaper Management Team, an  Editor, Mr. Dayo Oketola commended the Minister for the numerous programmes and projects embarked upon since assumption of office.

He noted that The Punch Newspaper will as a medium continue to inform Nigerians and also to educate them saying the organization  are partners in progress with the government of the day.

” We believe in the project Nigeria and we pray and hope it will work,” he said.


× How can we help you?