No region will be left out of rail development – FG

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the assurance when he featured on the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) Programme, “Good Morning Nigeria”.

During the programme monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, the minister said the federal government was committed and focused on providing infrastructures and no part of Nigeria would be short changed.

“The Eastern rail corridor which traversed the South East and South-South states, connecting them to other regions is in the master plan and will be developed. We have been able to revamp our rail system.

“The Lagos-Ibadan, Lagos-Abeokuta standard gauge is being test run. The Itakpe-Warri-Ajaokuta is also running while the Kaduna to Abuja is overwhelmed.

“I can assure you that our rail programme will ensure that no state capital will be left out. That is our master plan. We are doing it in phases,” he said.

The minister, who said that the administration had invested on road projects across the nation, gave examples of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway which was abandoned by previous governments, the Shagamu-Ore and Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa roads.

The minister said that work on the Enugu-Aba-Port-Harcourt; Enugu-Onitsha expressways; the East West road and second Niger Bridge, among others, are progressing very well.

He assured that in the next two to three years, Nigerians would see the completion of many of the roads.

He said implementation of Treasury Single Account had helped in blocking leakages and the channelling of government resources to critical infrastructure development.

“The government is building relationship with foreign countries and reaching out to global partners including ADB which are helping in development of infrastructures.

“African Development Bank has advanced about 6.5 billion dollars on infrastructure to Nigeria over the years,” he said.

Mohammed said that government was taking advantage of the Public Private Partnership arrangements to reach out to leading industrialists and manufacturers.

He said there were such arrangements with Dangote and BUA to develop critical infrastructures around the area of their operations while deductions would be made through taxation.

Speaking on power, the minister called the attention of Nigerians to the fact that the power sector had been privatised by past administrations.

He said it was unlike the past when the government controls generation, transmission and distribution.

“What we have today is a privatised power system where companies control generation and distribution. The only part left to government is transmission,” he said.

He said the Buhari administration had made several interventions resulting in increased power generation from 4,000 megawatts to 7,000 megawatts and stepped into addressing distribution challenges.

The minister said the government would make necessary intervention to ensure sustained improvement in power.

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