The President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has attributed the increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country to roads built by his administration, saying that infrastructure investment was evidently good for the economy.
Buhari made the assertion in his acceptance speech at the Africa Road Builders-Trophee Babacar Ndiaye Inaugural Conference in Abuja on Thursday, March 31, 2022.
TheFact Nigeria gathered that, out of the 600 roads built by the Buhari-led administration, only a handful of them were handled by indigenous contractors, due to inadequate equipments, therefore, the need to invest more in the Nigerian construction industry to meet international standards.
Buhari was represented by the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola. According to him, “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”.
He further noted that the sectors have been a major boost for the growth of the country’s 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.
Appreciating the role of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in the country’s infrastructural strides, Buhari said:
“Our collaboration with the African Development Bank has been productive and results are now manifest in projects like the Mfum-Bamenda Bridge that connects Nigeria and the Republic of Cameroon, 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”.
Similarly, appreciating the role good roads play in the transportation of its products, the Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari who was represented by Engr. Adeyemi Adetunji said:
“While petroleum products are transported via pipelines to some depots, trucking is mainly used to transport the products across the states down to the filling stations and this can only be possible when there is adequate road infrastructure.
“Road infrastructure remains one of the most critical aspects of national development which unlocks many socio-economic benefits for the Nigerian citizens and NNPC will continue to play its role as an enabler.
In his address, Director Infrastructure and Urban Development, AfDB, Mike Salawou stated that Africa needed $130 billion to meet its infrastructure gap. However, government alone cannot bridge this gap. He therefore urged African governments to seek collaboration with the private sector and other relevant bodies to finance their infrastructure projects.
President Muhammadu Buhari won the 2021 Great Builder Super Prize while his counterpart, President of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan, won that of 2022.