The Federal Government has described the South-East Governors’ allegation of infrastructural neglect of their zone as “incorrect, unfair and flew in the face of available evidence”.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who described the allegation as unfair to the federal government, said there had been even distribution of infrastructural development of all zones within limited resources.
Mohammed was speaking on Thursday in Ilorin, at a public lecture and inauguration of Wards and Local Governments canvassers for re-election bid of President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while the minister performed the inauguration, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), the Director Media, Buhari Campaign Organisation, delivered the lecture at the event.
In a keynote address, the minister said that no part of the country, including the South-east, had been left out of the massive infrastructural projects of the Buhari Administration.
“While this claim may have made headlines, it is totally untrue; His Excellencies were either misquoted or they were quoted of context.
“In fact, a total of 69 federal government projects are currently ongoing in the South-east.
“We will soon publish the full list of the projects and the state-by-state breakdown.
“Suffice it to say that the South-East, just like other geo-political zones, got N16.6 billion worth of projects from the proceeds of the 100 billion Naira Sukuk Bond, shared equally among the
“I have taken journalists on a tour of some of these projects in the South-East,” he said.
The minister said the four roads being rehabilitated and reconstructed by the proceeds of the Sukuk Bond included the Enugu-Port Harcourt Dual Carriageway Section II (Umuahia Tower-Aba Township Rail/Road Bridge Crossing in Abia State.
The Enugu-Port Harcourt Dual Carriageway Section I (Lokpanta – Umahia Tower) in Abia Stat and the outstanding section of the Onitsha-Enugu Expressway (Amansea – Enugu State Border) are on the list.
While he listed the fourth as the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway Section III (Enugu-Lokpanta) in Enugu State.
Mohammed said that in addition to the roads, the federal government was also constructing the N40 billion Aba-Port Harcourt section of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway.
He described the project as a strategic road linking Aba and other industrial heartland of the East with Port Harcourt, the nations oil hub.
“Let me say that these projects were awarded by the last Administration which, however, failed to provide funding.
“As a matter of fact, a section of the Enugu-Port Harcourt road, which cuts across many states, was turned to a refuse dump before this administration came to the rescue.’’
The minister said that the federal government was also embarking on the construction of the second Niger Bridge,.
“The ground-breaking of the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge was performed on 10th March, 2014 but could not take of until 2017.
“The bridge, which is 1.59-kilometre in length, forms part of the 11.90-kilometre project.
“The contractor, Julius Berger, has completed the first 3 phases of the project, which have to do with the
“They are currently on the 4th phase, which is at 70 per cent completion stage.
“Some 310 of the 615 piles designed for the bridge have been sunk while massive sand-filling of the approach road has been carried out to the height of 5 metres. The target height is 7 metres,” he said.
Mohammed said that the project was being solely financed by the Federal Government and noted that the South-east had never had it so good in the area of infrastructure.
“Had the previous administrations done even half of what we are doing now in that region, no one will be complaining today.
“It is alright to ask for more, but it is unfair to say nothing has been done,” he said.
The governors recently made the allegation of infrastructure neglect through the Director General of South-East Governors Forum, Prof. Simon Otuanya, at the presentation of a monitoring report on performance of the 2017 federal capital budget in the South East.