By Paul Michael
President Muhammadu Buhari has said the road and rail intervention of his administration has saved Nigerians from gridlocks that would have forced them into trekking from Lagos to Ibadan.
The President said this on Tuesday while receiving a delegation from Kaduna State led by the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, and Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Hadiza Sabuwa Balaraba at the State House, Abuja.
Buhari said by prioritizing infrastructure projects, his administration has ameliorated hardship in some parts of the country, particularly the quick intervention on the Lagos-Ibadan route with completion of road and rail lines, which improved the traffic significantly.
“My objective was very clear, despite the dwindling resources, I wanted to deal with infrastructure across the country.
“We should look at advancement in terms of Infrastructure. No country can advance without infrastructure. There used to be railways, especially people from Southern Kaduna will remember this.
“Which country can really advance without road, rail and power, that’s why I wanted to sort out infrastructure, knowing that Nigerians are competitive by nature, and they will face their businesses when there’s road, rail and power,’’ he added.
The President stressed that the challenge of commuting in the South West had been improved.
“The people from South West can tell better because between Lagos and Ibadan by now, if we hadn’t done what we did, people would have been trekking because the road was not there, the rail was not there and there was so much insecurity.
“But we thank the international community. We thank China and Chinese investors, who came along to support the Lagos-Ibadan transport projects,’’ he said.
President Buhari assured that the construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure will be sustained, which include the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano express road, being handled by Julius Berger to ensure good, long-term quality.
The President commended the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, for the transformation of the state, with growing infrastructure and socio-economic projects, while noting the growing liberality, which welcomes all Nigerians.
“Please extend my gratitude to the Governor for doing so well. I have been living in Kaduna for many years before I came here, but now I will need a modern compass to go around because of the transformation,’’ he added.
In her remarks, the Deputy Governor thanked the President for his working visit to the state, where he commissioned projects in Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria.
She said the Urban Renewal Programme will be sustained and spread across the state for more impact on the lives of the people, with many already near completion, and will be ready by May, 2022.
The Emir of Zazzau also thanked the President for the visit in January and support to the Government, adding that the memory will be long cherished by all Kaduna State citizens.