Aminat Isah in Enugu
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has expressed satisfaction at the rate of work done on the Enugu-Port Harcourt road projects, which he said has not received attention from the previous administrations.
The Minister who was on a site visit to the 240 kilometer road projects, which stretched along Enugu, Abia and Rivers state added that the project was divided into four sections and is being handled by four different construction firms.
He noted that the castigation of the present administration by the previous administraion with claims of marginalisalion in infrastructural development around the South-East and South-South end of the country and described such claims as fraudulent, and aimed at painting the government bad before the people.
The Minister said: “The claims from some quarters that no government presence in the regions, despite the monumental road projects that is ongoing.
“The naysayers have painted the administration as have not done anything for the south east zone. When we were coming on this stretch of road, I was informed that until this administration came, that entire lane was completely not motorable.
“In 16 years, what did the PDP do on the Enugu PH road? Everything that we saw today is what this administration achieved, yet some politicians are so fraudulent they sit in Abuja and accused the administration of not doing anything for the south east.
“From what you have seen yesterday and today, you will see that this administration has done so much for this zone. We can now see that some people are just misinforming the public.”
He however stressed that the criticism by the past administration cannot deter the buhari government from doing what would make the happy and stress free as the government is happy that the people have now come to know the difference.
“But I am glad that from the feedback we are getting that the people in the south east know what is going on because they know what was going on for 16 years and are also here in the last three years and they have seen the difference.
“Those who have not left Abuja to see what is going on, they keep saying on the social media that the government is doing nothing but those who live here, they appreciate what the government is doing,” he added.
The minister therefore challenged politicians to come out to make statements of facts on the achievements of the administration.
The minister said the non initiation of new projects by the present administration has not initiated was a deliberate effort at ensuring completion of all existing projects, irrespective of which government started as government continuum and the citizen does not want to know about how a project is started but want to see a completed projects for their betterment.
“We are very passionate and highly committed to ease traffic on Enugu and Port Harcourt road substantially and we have succeeded in cutting the travel time. By this time next year we would have constructed Enugu and Port Harcourt road substantially.
“This tour is giving you a firmer understanding of who is doing what and where. Without infrastructure the economy cannot develop. Nigeria is one country and our governance.
“Most of our projects have been projects that were abandoned and we continue . many of them were started more than ten years and some were awarded even before we came, but we think about how the project benefits the people and not who started it or how it was started.
“No government can finish a projects across the country within 4years, 8years, and even 12years, so they must learn that the people of Nigeria will remain the same even when government changes. The landscape remain the same so we have to be subconscious of the decision at hand to ensure that every project we inherited, we are going to complete.
He averred that this government is very passionate about critical infrastructure and that’s why it has put together the presidential infrastructural development fund to assist this kind of projects.
Engr. Oyekanmi Olufemi, Federal Government official in charge of Enugu State earlier in his remarks said that the main challenge facing the project is rain, as work can only go during the dry season.
“Despite the rain, works on the covets are still ongoing, while the construction firm also stock piling materials are ready for work from November, ” he said.
He assured that one side of the road will be ready for use next year.
The contract was awarded on the 3rd of December 2014, but work could not commence as the previous government did not provide money more than to the tune of 20million out of a total sum of 32billion, until the present administration mobilized the contractors and have since made a lot of capital commitment, said Olufemi.
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