Information and culture Minister Lai Mohammed says the Buhari administration is not interested in sharing money, but to provide basic needs of Nigerians.
Government, according to him,is aware of complaints by some Nigerians about lack of free money, and declared that the administration prefers to invest in infrastructure that would have ripple effects on the economy than sharing money to people and political stooges like the previous administration did.
“Yes, people are complaining of no money and high cost of living, but I want to tell you that it would have been worse today, but for the massive infrastructural development this government is investing on,” the minister said at Tatabu village near Mokwa in Niger State, while inspecting the reconstructed and rehabilitated Ilorin-Jebba- Mokwa Road project.
The 93.6 km road project includes the total reconstruction of Ilorin /Jebba Road and rehabilitation of failed portions from Jebba to Mokwa.
The Ilorin-Jebba road is part of the Lagos- Algiers Road called trans Sahara road which cuts across the West and North Africa.
In Nigeria, the road connects the South-West geo-geographical zone to the Northern part of the country.
Mohammed said: “When people make these complaints, they easily forget that for 16 years, one political party was in power, sharing money when this road became completely failed.
“APC, in three years, has fixed this road to this level. I think it speaks for itself.
“Before now, it would take about five days for trucks to move from Ilorin to Jebba. Today, it takes only two hours.
“Today, on this road, you can see free movement of goods and services which is the beginning of revival of the economy.”
The minister added: “We are not a government that will share money like what others did which put the country in a mess.
“This government believes in investing in infrastructure because if you get this right, it will translate to wealth creation.
“Let us take for instance: if this road contract costs N10 billion and we share it to political stooges in this area at N1 million each, we will only give 1,000 people and there will be no road.
“On the long run, those that we shared the money to will join in abusing the government for non-performance.
“On our part, we will rather slowly and painstakingly revive our economy through infrastructural development and we have a lot of stories to tell on this”.
Asked whether government would toll the road to raise money for its completion to Birnin-Gwari in Kaduna and for its dualisation, Mohammed said, not all roads could be tolled.
His words:”This matter came up at the last Federal Executive Council meeting and we agreed that, not all roads could be tolled.
“The idea of tolling roads is to recoup the expenses on the construction and make them sustainable.
“A study is being compiled, and at the end of it, it will be decided on what roads to toll and which not.”
The Federal Controller of Works, Kwara State, Mr Atitebi Wasiu, who conducted the minister and his entourage round the project, said the contract for the dualisation of the road had been awarded and work would commence in the next three weeks.
“The dualisation is awarded to the same contractor from Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa at the total contract sum of N130 billion.
“The Kwara State section of the dualisation is awarded at N80 billion, while the Niger State section is about N50 billion,” he said.