President Muhammadu Buhari has said that ‘412KM sukuk-funded roads have been completed
Buhari said his administration has taken advantage of the Sukuk bond — first issued in 2017 to target key road projects — to complete over 400 kilometers of road across the country He said out of the 643 kilometers of roads targeted through the bond, a total of 412 kilometers have been constructed.
He also said: “The Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund projects are also progressing very well. On the 2nd Niger Bridge, piling work has been completed and the approach roads are being constructed. 48% of work on this bridge has been achieved.
“We have constructed 102km of the 376km Abuja–Kaduna–Kano Road, representing 38%, and the 42.9km Obajana–Kabba Road is 87.03% complete. Furthermore, the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency has completed routine maintenance on over 4,000km of federal roads out of the 5,000km targeted.”
On government’s economic diversification through agriculture programme, the president said agriculture remains the key to his administration’s economic diversification strategy as evidenced in the progress made in the last one year.
He said the presidential fertilizer initiative programme continues to deliver “significant quantities of affordable and high-quality fertilizers” to our farmers and that has helped to revive 31 blending plants and create a “significant number of jobs”.
“Government is also revamping the cotton, textile and garment sector via a CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria) Textile Revival Intervention Fund that would considerably reduce foreign exchange spent on cotton and other textile imports,” he added.
“To protect our farming investments, we have deployed 5,000 Agro-Rangers and employed 30,289 in our para-military agencies. We are also integrating rural communities to the formal economy by extending access to credit and inputs to rural farmers and building feeder roads.
“Our efforts on growing non-oil exports have started to yield some results. For instance, in the past year, our revenue from Cocoa and Sesame Seed increased by $79.4 million and $153 million.”
On critical projects which are ongoing in power sector, President Buhari said because the power sector remains key to meeting Nigeria’s development aspirations, he is determined to tackle the challenges that has made adequate power supply impossible for the citizens.
He listed critical projects in the sector to include Alaoji to Onitsha, Delta power station to Benin and Kaduna to Kano; 330kv DC 62km line between Birnin Kebbi and Kamba; Lagos/Ogun transmission infrastructure project, Abuja transmission ring scheme and northern corridor transmission project.
“Our agreement with Siemens will transmit and distribute a total of 11,000 Megawatts by 2023, to serve our electricity needs,” he said.
On bidding for 57 marginal oil fields, the President said they are ongoing. “For the first time in over ten years, Nigeria is conducting bidding process for 57 Marginal Oil Fields to increase revenue and increase the participation of Nigerian companies in oil and exploration and production business,” Buhari said, adding that $200 million intervention fund has also been disbursed to indigenous manufacturers and service providers in the oil and gas sector. He also said peace has been restored in the Niger Delta region and oil production levels maintained through “sustained engagement of youths, opinion leaders and other stakeholders”.