Nigerians have reacted to the pronouncement by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that a whopping sum of N2.24 trillion would be needed to fix the infrastructure in the country, saying the statement is alarming.
Those who spoke to Daily Sun are of the opinion that if the Federal Government had started taking the infrastructure problems bit by bit it would not have degenerated to this alarming stage.
One of the stakeholders, Tony Anya Okafor, stated that government officials were waiting until a problem of this magnitude would occur for them to make gains out of the rehabilitation of construction.
Okafor noted that patriotism has remained a great challenge in the effort to build the Nigeria of our dream. He said that because of greed, nobody does anything without considering his personal gains, adding that with the way things are going, a time would come when the unheard-of would happen and no one would be blamed.
Also, Chief John Oruya, Chairman, Ofuonu Clan in Anambra State, noted that why government finds it difficult to repair roads when they are developing little potholes is because after those who would sign the contract have collected their tips, the remaining would not be enough to execute the project.
He, therefore, urged government to use direct labour from those who are employed as ministry staff to get the little work done. “It is good for government to increase employment by engaging those who would be hired on a daily basis to do such job. The amount they will be paid at the end of the month would not be equal to the amount the ministry would spend in contracting it out,” he said.
Truly, the menace of infrastructural decay in the country has reached its crescendo as virtually all aspects of our economic lives are directly and indirectly affected, hence the resolve by the Federal Government to give it a face lift.
Earlier, the Federal Government, through the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala, revealed that a whopping sum of N2.24 trillion would be required yearly to fund infrastructural facilities in the country. The Minister noted that the amount estimated above is lower compared to the total capital needed to fund the Infrastructure Masterplan.
According to a report from Premium Times, the Minister said the estimate was not comprehensive, as it was likely to be higher when the total financial outlay needed to fund the country’ Infrastructure Masterplan is calculated.
Okonjo-Iweala, who stated this at a training programme on Private Public Partnership (PPP) organised by African Development Bank (ADB), in Abuja said over 70 per cent of the amount (N160 billion) would come from the Federal Government purse.
At the moment, she said the country’s spending on infrastructure development was about N960 billion, showing a huge gap that needs to be filled.
According to the Minister, the gap justifies the essence of the PPPs currently being implemented by the Federal Government in various sectors of the economy.
She said the country was already utilising PPPs in the execution of projects such as the Lekki Deep Sea Port, Lagos- Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge, etc, adding that the country would need much more in view of her great needs for growth.
She emphasised the need for the country to improve the PPP model to suit the country’s peculiar needs, pointing out that the initiative must deliver clear benefits without leaving the people with difficult problems.
While commending ADB for organising the training programme, Okonjo-Iweala said the country needed to refine and improve its use of PPPs for execution of important projects, which would improve the economy and deliver benefits to its citizens. -SunNews