‘Instead of bellyaching over Lagos-Calabar Coastal highway, former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who has touted his own record as an investor and businessman can set up an SPV with his business partners and take on Badagry-Sokoto’

In 1978 during the military administration of General Olusegun Obasanjo (rtd), the Federal Government proposed the Badagry-Sokoto Highway. From available media reports, preliminary work actually started on the project until it was abandoned in 1979.

Just like the Lagos-Calabar Coastal highway which has been in the works for several decades, Badagry-Sokoto highway is among many critical infrastructural projects in the National Development Plans conceived from the 1960s to 70s that have not been executed till date.

This speaks to how low we have become in terms of national productivity because critical infrastructural projects that should be the backbone of the economy upon which national prosperity is anchored have remained a pipe dream.

Since 2015, some of these abandoned projects are being executed one by one, the latest being the Lagos-Calabar Coastal highway. The APC-led administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari took on the Bodo-Bonny Road, NLNG Train 7, Lagos-Ibadan Rail, Kano-Kaduna Rail, Kano-Kastina-Maradi rail, Ajaojuka-Kaduna-Kano Natural Gas Pipeline among many others. There are still many projects to be done. The best way for both the Federal and State governments to close the infrastructural deficit we have in the country is through Public Private Partnership.

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We will never be able to close the huge infrastructure gap in the country through paltry treasury/annual budget cycle. We must mobilise enough private and public capital to fund our development projects. Instead of bellyaching over Lagos-Calabar Coastal highway, former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who has touted his own record as an investor and businessman can set up an SPV with his business partners and take on Badagry-Sokoto Highway as concessionaire. With a huge infrastructural project like Badagry-Sokoto highway, Alhaji Atiku will help create thousands of construction and civil engineering jobs for Nigerians with attendant multiplier effects on the economy for cement producers, iron producers, food vendors and many more.

There is a big room for everyone to play in the task of making Nigeria a better country rather than this constant whining, nitpicking and mudslinging to score cheap political points.

Temitope Ajayi,
Senior Special Assistant to the President
on Media and Publicity

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