Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that road investment made a huge contribution of 3.40% to the GDP recorded in 2021.
This, he noted, was the country’s biggest in the last seven years just as the president said his administration was focused on road infrastructure with a view to facilitating job creation and strengthening the economy.
He spoke recently in Abuja during the 7th edition of the Africa Road Builders – Trophee Babacar Ndiaye Inaugural Conference 2022, tagged: “Building Roads, Building Economies”.
Represented by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Buhari said roads and bridges under construction, expansion and rehabilitation nationwide have been a major boost for the growth of the Nigeria’s economy.
“Our most recent GDP results of 3.40%, the biggest in the last 7 years clearly show that the construction sub-sectors and related sub-sectors of the economy were among the big performers of the growth surge.”
“The construction, expansion and rehabilitation nationwide have been a major boost for the growth of our economy, keeping people at work; driving a supply value chain, stimulating productivity at Quarries, Cement Factories, Steel Factories, and the Petroleum sectors for lubricants, fuel and bitumen”, Buhari said.
On the importance of some of the projects, he said” “the Apapa-Oworonshoki highway in Lagos is strategic for trade and business facilitation to support our busiest and largest seaport in Apapa and Tin Can Island.
“The Suleja-Minna highway is critical to our petroleum distribution network and access to strategic petroleum products depot in Niger state; and it is receiving attention, while the Calabar-Itu-Odukpani unlocks access to agricultural produce and supports mining and extractive activities for construction in the South-South and South East of Nigeria.”
The president, who formally accepted the Babacar Ndiaye Africa Super Prize Great Builder Award for which he had been announced as the winner for the year 2021, expressed delight that the dreams of the African Union (AU) for the continent were beginning to manifest.
He noted that his government’s policies and programmes that were inaugurated over the years have begun to bear fruits and results.
“Our collaboration with the African Development Bank has been productive and results are now manifesting in projects like the Mfum-Bamenda Bridge that connects Nigeria and the Republic of Cameroon.
“I also acknowledge the support of the Bank in financing Feasibilities, Consultancies and Pre-construction work on the Lagos-Abidjan Corridor comprising Nigeria, the Republic of Benin, Togo, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire which is part of Trans African Highway No. 7 from Dakar in Senegal to Lagos in Nigeria.
“I am able to report that the Nigerian sections of this highway are now under construction on the Lagos-Badagry corridor through our local financing institution such as the Tax Credit Scheme introduced by Executive Order No. 7; and in collaboration with the Lagos State Government.
“I am pleased to report that apart from Trans African Highway No. 7, Nigeria is also connected by Trans African Highways No. 2, Algiers to Lagos and Trans African Highway No. 8, Lagos – Mombasa.
“The East to West crossing of Nigeria across the Second River Niger Bridge which will be finished this year is a major investment by Nigeria on the Lagos-Mombasa Trans African Highway, as is the Enugu – Abakaliki to Mfum Highway,” Buhari said.