By Anthony Isaac
Amid growing concern about Nigeria’s high debt profile, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has assured that Federal Government’s borrowing would be invested in the development of the nation’s infrastructure.
Fashola disclosed this during his inspection tour of highway projects in Niger State.
The projects the Minister inspected were: the dualization of Suleja-Minna Phase I and phase II, the reconstruction of Bida-Lapai-Lambata road, the construction of Agaie-Katcha-Barro road, dualization of Jebba-Mokwa-Bokani road and rehabilitation of New Bussa-Kaiama road.
Speaking during the inspection, he explained that borrowing invested on infrastructure would create jobs and help the country achieve self- sustaining economy.
According to him, “A nation ‘s wealth is measured by its infrastructure”, explaining that “the concern of Nigerians on government borrowing is legitimate, but borrowing should be weighed with the problem they are used to solve”.
He pointed out “people need infrastructure if they can see that the money borrowed is used to deliver critical infrastructure, then their queries can be assuaged”.
Each of the road projects inspected has the capacity to employ over a thousand workforce. This would help the Federal Government’s drive in creating jobs for its teaming unemployment youths.
The Project Manager of Salini Nigeria Limited, the company handling the dualization of the Suleja-Mina road, Mr. Paolo Canpanella, told the Minister that the company has over 300 staff in their payroll and that they are committed to completing the road on or before the completion date of January 2023.
The dualization of Jebba-Mokwa-Bakani road in Niger State when completed will ease transportation of agricultural produce, reduce the pressure on existing single-carriage road facilities, reduce travel time and ultimately reduce vehicle operating costs.