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We’ll complete Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, 2nd Niger Bridge, others before 2023 – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that the 11.9km Second Niger Bridge, 120 km Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and other key projects will be completed within the second term of this administration.

The key projects are being executed under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF).

The president stated this at the opening of a two-day Mid-Term Ministerial Performance Review Retreat organized to assess progress made towards the achievement of the nine key priorities of this Administration.

He used the occasion of the retreat, the third edition since the second term of his administration, to highlight some of the Federal Government’s notable achievements in the last two years.

He listed accomplishments in the areas of infrastructure, transportation, economy, electricity supply, the petroleum industry, among others.

‘‘On transportation, we are growing the stock and quality of our road, rail, air and water transport infrastructure.

‘‘The PIDF projects are also advancing remarkably. These include the 11.9km Second Niger Bridge, 120 km Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, 375 km Abuja – Kaduna – Zaria – Kano Expressway and the East West Road. Most of these projects are expected to be completed within this 2nd term of our Administration,’’ he said.

President Buhari expressed delight that over the past two years, Ministers had rendered reports to the Federal Executive Council on their activities related to the achievement of their Ministerial Mandates.

‘‘Some of the notable achievements include the establishment of InfraCo Plc in 2020, as a world class infrastructure development vehicle, wholly focused on Nigeria, with combined debt and equity take-off capital of N15 trillion, to be managed by an independent infrastructure fund manager.

‘‘The Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund was also established in 2020 with more than USD 1Billion in funding.

‘‘In addition, we have launched the Nigeria Innovation Fund by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

”This is aimed at addressing investment opportunities in the domestic technology sector: data networking, datacenters, software, Agri-tech, Bio-tech, and more,’’ he said.

Furthermore, President Buhari noted that his administration had made tremendous progress on railway projects in the country, noting that upgrading of the railway network is being extended with the recent completion of the Lagos – Ibadan line.

‘‘The Itakpe-Ajaokuta rail line has finally been completed and commissioned after 30 years of its conception.

‘‘Work is expected to commence very soon on the Port-Harcourt Maiduguri line and Calabar – Lagos Coastal Line to connect the Southern and Eastern States of our Country.

”Progress is also being made on the upgrading of our Airports, with the state-of-the-art facilities in line with world class safety standards,’’ he said.

On the economy, the president said the nation witnessed three consecutive quarters of growth, after negative growth rates recorded in the second and third quarters of 2020.

‘‘The GDP grew from 0.8% in 2017 to 2.2% in 2019, but declined in the first quarter of 2020, as a result of the downward trend in global economic activities triggered by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

‘‘As at Second Quarter 2021, GDP growth rate was at 5.01%, the highest since the inception of this Administration,” he said.

The NewsAgencyofNigeria (NAN) reports that goodwill message was delivered virtually at the event, by the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed.

Those in attendance include the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, cabinet Ministers as well as Special Advisers and Senior Special Assistants to the President (NAN)

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