By Ben Agande
Abuja — Former Head of Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, has called on the Federal Government to demonstrate the needed political will to tackle Nigeria’s infrastructure deficiency.
He spoke when he led the Governing Board of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, ICRC, to present the 2011 annual report and audited financial statement of the commission to President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House,Abuja, yesterday.
According to him, except the Federal Government demonstrates enough political will and changes its strategy in addressing the critical aspect of development and bridge the gap in infrastructural development, the country’s infrastrucral defficiency will persist.
He noted: “It is not only in this country that we have infrastructure deficit. If you look round now, even the developed countries have infrastructure deficits.
The way forward is what everybody seems to be doing; and that is to see how they can reduce that deficit. So each and everyone of us have to put our thinking cap on to see how we can bridge that gap within a short period of time.
“With all these disasters that have been happening round the world, even Western countries which started their infrastructural development well before us are now thinking of doing fresh infrastructures because the infrastructures they had in the last century are becoming antiquated.
“We have an opportunity now to be able to do our own infrastructures. I think the best thing is to get people who are interested in the development of infrastructures to assist us in doing our own. That is why we said we will need the political will of the Presidency and all the others each and every one of us must have to contribute our own quota to make sure that we developed our own. Without infrastructures, there will not be much progress.”
Speaking on the role of the ICRC to attract investors, Shonekan said: “We have laid down the foundation and put the policy guidelines in place. We have amended the ICRC Act to ensure that at the end of the day, the law will be there to back the investors. So we have got everything ready. Now, this is the time to really work hard to make sure that we attract investors.”