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The 15 things Buhari said about infrastructure in his budget speech

Politics

The 15 things Buhari said about infrastructure in his budget speech

President Muhammadu Buhari presented the 2018 budget proposal to a joint session of the national assembly on Tuesday.

He used the opportunity to address a host of issues including the performance of last year’s budget, and the efforts of his government across various sectors.  One of the areas he spoke about at length is the FG’s efforts to improve the nation’s infrastructure from roads to rails to power.

  • Why the infrastructure development timetable of the government has not been met: According to Buhari, his government inherited “huge contractor liabilities” from the previous government. The president said trillions of Naira were being owed contractors and this “adversely impacted our infrastructure development timetable.”
  • The Abuja Metro-Rail project: Project was started in 2007 and by 2015 when the administration came in, it was “only 50% completed, after 8 years.” Buhari claimed that “in just 18 months, we have pushed the project to 98% completion.”
  • Road projects: “Over 766 kilometres of roads were constructed or rehabilitated across the country in 2017,” he said. He listed the following roads as being at various stages of completion:
  1. Rehabilitation of Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa-Birnin-Gwari-Kaduna Road;
  2. Dualization of Oyo-Ogbomosho-Ilorin Road;
  3. Rehabilitation of Gombe-Numan-Yola Road;
  4. Dualization of Kano-Maiduguri Road;
  5. Rehabilitation of Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega Road and Kotangora-Makera Road that transverse Sokoto, Kebbi and Niger States;
  6. Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Enugu-Port-Harcourt Road;
  7. Rehabilitation of Enugu-Onitsha Dual Carriageway Road;
  8. Rehabilitation of Aleshi-Ugep Road and the Iyamoyun-Ugep Section in Cross River State; 
  9. Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Expansion of Lagos-Ibadan Dual Carriageway Road;
  10. Construction of Loko-Oweto Bridge over River Benue in Nasarawa and Benue States; and
  11. Construction Gokanni Bridge along Tegina-Mokwa-Jebba Road in Niger State.
  • Data Collection for Roads: This exercise was funded by the World Bank and conducted on the 7,000km Federal Road Network. Buhari said the data is “enabling us to make informed decisions regarding the planning, budgeting and management of the Federal Road Network. Going forward, we will be working based on facts rather than subjectivity.”
  • Alternative funding for projects:
  1. The recent 100 billion Naira Sukuk Financing which will cater specifically for the development of 25 roads across the country.
  2. Private sector investment in construction of a key road in the Niger Delta (the Bonny-Bodo road) and the Apapa Wharf-Toll Gate Road in Lagos State which is being constructed by private sector investors in exchange for tax credits. 
  • Power generation has increased “significantly” but “we still have challenges with the Transmission and Distribution Networks.”
  • But there’s some good news in transmission: According to Buhari: “Since 2015, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Niger-Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) have added 1,950 MVA of 330-132kV transformer capacity at 10 Transmission stations, as well as 2,930 MVA of 132-33kV transformer capacity to 42 substations nationwide. With these additions, the Transmission Network today can handle up to 7,000 Mega Watts (MW).”
  • Big problem remains in distribution: The distribution substations cannot take more than 5,000 MW. He said FG is working with DISCOS to fix this.
  • In order to sustain the continued expansion of generation capacity and enhance evacuation: “We approved a Payment Assurance Guarantee Scheme which enabled the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET) to raise 701 billion Naira. This assures the Generation Companies of up to 80% payment on their invoices. This intervention has brought confidence back into the sector and we expect additional investment to flow through, particularly in the gas production sector.”
  • Green Alternative Energy Sources: FG has signed Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with 14 solar companies. We also approved; completed the 10 MW Wind Farm in Katsina State, a project that was abandoned since 2012; and concessioned six small hydro-electric power plants with a total capacity of 50 MW.
  • First African Sovereign Green Bond to be launched in December 2017. “The bond will be used to finance renewable energy projects.”
  • Abuja-Kaduna rail line: FG has taken delivery of 2 additional locomotives and 10 standard gauge coaches that will be “deployed for the new non-stop express service between the two cities that will only take one hour and fifteen minutes.” To be commissioned in December 2017.
  • Kick-started the abandoned Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri Rail Line which has been on for over 17 years. Expected to be commissioned by September 2018, starting with seven standard gauge coaches.
  • Extension of the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Rail Line to connect Apapa and Tin Can Port Complexes. Project expected to ease the congestion at the ports and enhance both export and import operations. To be completed by December 2018. “Already, working with the private sector, we have repaired the Apapa Port Narrow Gauge Line which is currently being used to evacuate goods from the port, thereby easing congestion.”
  • 7 tertiary health institutions to be established across the country through partnership with our Sovereign Wealth Fund and other private sector investors.

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