Nigeria’s transport minister, Rotimi Amaechi, on Tuesday, September 11, promised that the country’s citizens would enjoy 24-hour power supply once President Muhammadu Buhari is reelected into office in 2019.
“Nigerians have taught me a lesson I learnt in politics and that is why nothing bothers me again. “The people praising you today, if you see them when you are out of power, you will be shocked. Those singing hallelujah and hosanna will still be the same people to shout crucify him tomorrow. “We have done much more than transport.
In terms of corruption; this economy was a rent economy. Public money was spent anyhow and it was an economy that was not worked hard for. “This is why you see politicians today very rich and one year after government, they are poor. They are like that because they don’t know how to manage the money. “When Buhari came, he said no and that we cannot continue to spend anyhow.
Buhari has not said people should not steal; he has rather kept quiet to see who can steal because there is a consequence for stealing. “I don’t want to say it has stopped completely, but it has reduced. Before, there were many empty houses in Abuja. People were building and speculating that new politicians would come in and buy.
“But we came in, we could not buy because of the economy. So if you say Buhari has not done anything on corruption, you are being most unfair. “Also, the 2016 budget was six per cent capital, but we are doing 20 per cent capital now.
We are doing 80 per cent recurrent and 20 per cent capital. “We believe that in the next two to three years, we will get to 30 per cent capital and we will get there if we reduce the current expenditure and deal with wastages.”
“The contract sum for the road was below N39 billion, but it is now N120 billion. When I was governor, I wrote to the federal government under Jonathan that I wanted to do the road for N39billion, but they didn’t reply me.
“My final year as governor, energy wrote that they would take care of 50 per cent of the bill and I wrote again to the federal government, but they didn’t reply because I was in APC. Now that the federal government wants to do it, the cost is now N120 billion. “So, Buhari government is dealing with corruption, building roads.
The worst road in Nigeria used to be between Uyo and Calabar, but it has been awarded. “The road to Enugu too that people are complaining about, contractors are working on the road already. The work may be slow, but they are working.
“When we came, oil was $28 per barrel and our budget was $35 and suddenly it dropped, but the minister of budget managed it for us to survive. Now oil is $74, but we still have not reached $110. If we get to that, things will change rapidly. Also, the Ilorin-Jebba road. Contracts for the construction of many roads have been awarded.
“There is also an improvement in power. We have moved from 3000megawatt to 7000, but we are distributing 5000 because some of the infrastructures are not in good state. But we are fixing them.
“The expectation is that it should be 24 hours power supply, but there will still be a gap. But if you give us a second term, that gap will be closed.” On insecurity, Amaechi said there was improvement in the area as promised by Buhari.
“Boko Haram no longer have the power that they had then. Before we came, the situation was worse, churches were not safe, but now you can go to church freely and nearly all the security agencies that had special protection have reduced their protection gates because fears have reduced.
“The threats, which used to envelope the North, have reduced and we are addressing the ones in Borno, unlike before where they would overrun villages and hoist their flags and say they owned the villages. “If you ask of our achievement, I think many people can attest to what we have done. People no longer go through rigorous searches before entering public places.”
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