By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief & Emmanuel Elebeke
The President Muhammadu Buhari administration has invested N2.5 trillion in infrastructure since coming into power in 2015, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, disclosed this in an interview, weekend.
Asked what has changed in the economy since Buhari administration came into power, the minister said: “Overall, focus has been to invest massively in infrastructure to make sure we get the economy growing. So far, we have pumped in over N2.5 trillion in infrastructure, especially on capital projects, between 2015 and 2017.
“If you move round the country, you will see work is on-going on roads, power, bridges and other areas. These are really important building blocks for the Nigerian economy.
“For us to really become competitive, we have to have good transportation links. It is very important for the movement of goods across the country efficiently and readily. Look at the road sector, when we came in, it was N90 billion that was invested in the sector in 2015. And in 2016, we invested N304 billion on roads.
“So, there has been a new step, which is changing our capital projects. This is the foundation we have identified with more opportunities. All this opportunities are not limited to oil, but spread across the nation.
“That is why you see projects spread across the nation. For me, that has been one of the biggest changes.”
Asked why the current administration was owing subsidy on petrol, after it had earlier promised to remove subsidy on petroleum products, Adeosun said the petroleum products subsidy for which oil marketers had been clamouring was part of the debt inherited from the last administration.
Her words: “The subsidy they are demanding is actually the subsidy arrears we inherited from the previous administration. We are not paying subsidy in the old sense, the way subsidy was paid oil marketers.
“So, the subsidy they are clamouring for is what they were owed before the present ajdministration came in.
“But, we are negotiating with them and we have to also make sure the focus remains on our capital projects. That is really our priority. But then, they are clamouring for government to give them attention and pay them subsidy arrears owed them before we came on board.”