PDP can’t match President Buhari’s score card-Minister

Solomon Chung, Enugu

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Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.

Nigeria’s Information and Culture Minister Mr. Lai Mohammed has said that the Buhari led administration has done a lot in the area of infrastructure development with the little resources available compared to the previous administration.

Mohammed revealed this on Thursday when he led a group of journalists on the ongoing federal government inspection of ongoing projects across the country.

He condemned the previous administration of the Peoples Democratic Party for not doing enough for the South East zone of the country in their 16 years rule.

“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.’’

‘‘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.’’

‘‘We therefore call on politicians to come out to make statements of facts on the achievements of the administration.”

Mr. Mohammed said that the government was very passionate about critical infrastructure and that’s why we put together the presidential infrastructural development fund to assist such kind of projects.

“We believe in this administration that government is a continuum and that we don’t need to come in, abandon old contracts or old projects and start awarding new ones rather, we have concentrated on completing the old projects because.”

The inspection was on the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Enugu-Port Harcourt dual carriageway.

According to him, naysayers have painted the Buhari administration as if it has not done anything for the south east zone which is very untrue.

The Enugu-Port-Harcourt dual carriageway is a major route  that will stimulate economic activities in East of Nigeria. The contract sum is about 39 billion with about 7.8 billion naira paid so far for mobilization

Controller of works in Enugu State, Oyekanmi Olufemi said there are four sections and the four sections are been done concurrently.

“The first section is being handled by CGC and it covers about 61km from Enugu to Lokpanta, another of section goes from Lokpanta to Umuahia, then the third section goes from Umuahia to Aba, then the fourth section goes from Aba to Port Harcourt.”

Mr. Olufemi said the contract was awarded on the 3rd of December 2014, actually takeoff was supposed to be in January 2015 but unfortunately this contract was awarded at the sum of N32bn, money the was supposed to be paid to the contractor which is 15% of the contract sum was supposed to be N4bn but its easy to award but funding is a major challenge.

 “As at 2015 the only amount given to this contractor was only N100m, with that they couldn’t start. The new government came in and the first budget of the new government was in 2016, funding started in earnest, so by 2016 the contractor had to come to site because government was able to fund the advance properly.”

Mr.  Olufemi explained further that the only constraint they have was the fact that there is only five working months in a year for construction in the South East of Nigeria from November to April due to the rains.

Accordingly, Mr. Nwanko Chukwubuike who is the Federal controller of works in Abia state whose section starts from Lopkanta-Umahia Tower said that work on that section of the project had continued in essence. He said they have achieved some successes but are waiting to compensate some people so as to continue work in high speed.

Johnson Fadire who controls the works department in Rivers state confirmed that the Federal government has provided adequate funding and commitment to the realization of the project.

The dual carriage work once completed will help boost economic activities and also cut down man hours spend on the road.