The Federal Government says it has outlined various developmental programmes that will revive the nation’s economy, restore the value of the naira and “drive hunger from our land.’’ President Muhammadu Buhari said this in a national broadcast to mark Nigeria’s 56th Independence Anniversary in Abuja on Saturday . Buhari said the programmes, included the constructions and rehabilitation of new roads, housing and power projects across the country, adding that already the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing had received N197.5 billion for the execution of some of the projects.
According to him, already contractors have recalled 9,000 workers laid off and several hundreds of thousands of workers will be reengaged in the next few months as our public works programme gains momentum. He said the affected roads were the dualisations of Calabar- Itu Road in Cross River/Akwa Ibom, Lokoja-Benin Road, Ehor=Benin city and reconstruction of outstanding sections of Benin-Shagamu Expressway Edo/Ogun. Others were the expansion works on Lagos-Ibadan Dual carriageway (Ogun/Oyo); rehabilitation of Onitsha-Enugu Expressway (Anambra/Enugu); and rehabilitation and reconstruction of Enugu-Port Harcourt dual carriageway.
He said the rehabilitation of Hadejia-Nguru Road, dualisation of Kano-Katsina Road in Kano State, dualisation of Kano-Maiduguri Road, dualisation of Azare-Potiskum Road, Azare-Sharuri Road, Bauchi State, would also be carried out. The president revealed that rehabilitation work would also be carried out on Ilorin- Jebba-Mokwa-Birnin Gwari Road, while Oju/Lokoja-Oweto Bridge over River Benue in Benue would be constructed. “Other major highways are in the queue for rehabilitation or new construction.’’ On railways, Buhari disclosed that Federal Government had provided its counterpart funding to China for the building of the standard gauge Lagos-Kano railway.
He said, “the General Electric is investing 2.2billion dollars in a concession to revamp, provide rolling stock, and manage the existing lines, including the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Line.’’ He said that the Lagos-Calabar railway would soon be on stream. On housing, the president revealed that the government had initiated the National Housing Programme. “In 2014 N400 million was voted for housing. In 2015 nothing. Our first budget this year is devoting N356 billion,” he said., adding that much of the housing projects would be private sector-driven.
He, however, said Federal Government would be initiating a pilot housing scheme of 2,838 units uniformly spread across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. “We expect these units to be completed within four to six months. These experimental Nigeria House model Units will be constructed using only made in Nigeria building materials and components.’’ He expressed the hope that the housing initiative would reactivate the building materials manufacturing sector, generate massive employment opportunities and develop sector capacity and expertise.