Last week’s inspection of projects initiated under his administration in the Federal Capital Territory by President Goodluck Jonathan has left no one in doubt about the passion the President attach to developmental projects.
The president after inspecting the projects has also charged the incoming administration to ensure continuity as well as the need to fast tract the completion of projects initiated by the outgoing administration
One great memory Nigerians will continue to cherish about the outgoing Jonathan’s administration is that these projects had no considerations outside of the need to give Nigeria’s gateway befitting infrastructures similar to those seen anywhere in the world
These include the 10-lane airport road leading to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport, now named after late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua.
The move to name the road after his predecessor who had in 2009 performed the ground breaking ceremony was considered very apt, as a mark of Honour for the man who died serving his nation, Nigeria.
The President while inspecting the project, expressed satisfaction with the level of work done of the projects. The President had also inspected the multibillion Naira Abuja/ Kaduna Light Rail, project, the Murtala Mohammed, Kubwa expressway.
For those who have followed the projects initiated by the President Jonathan’s administration, even his most unrepentant critics will agree that this President has worked for Nigeria
From the 5,000 kilometers of road network in 2007 to over 25,000kilometers in 2015, aside the newly initiated rail network that were abandoned for over 30 years and the opening up of the water transportation system through the drainage of the River Niger and River Benue, President Jonathan, no doubt gave meaning to development of public infrastructure in Nigeria.
In all of these, he was moved by the need for a mass transit system that will ease public transportation, link every parts of the country and reduce the communication barriers, while also tying up business links across the 36 states of the federation.
The President is leaving office very well fulfilled even though these projects are not yet completed
“I am quite please with the level of completion and looking at the stock piles of typical materials, give us hope that the projects cannot be abandoned”
The President also believed that it will be counter productive for Nigeria to rely on taxis and buses for an efficient mass transit system
He is fully conscious of the fact that like the works of the previous leaders before him, doing so will mean playing with the nation’s stability as these will only serve in the short run.
According to him “ For effective mass transit, where commuters are meant to pay very low rate, then of course the rail system is key” he continues “ that is why the government has plans for city rails like this and Inter-city rail system. our target was at the national level, to make sure that every state capital is linked up by the railway system.”
The President said federal government was also partnering with state governments, especially within the big cities like Abuja, Lagos and other states.
“we are encouraging governors of those states, where we need to partner with them, we are partnering with them, where they can do it alone, they will do it alone to make sure that we have rail system within the city”
Some of the projects which the next administration must pay attention to and which were initiated by the current administration include ongoing construction of the 2nd Niger bridge which hitherto was subject of political caricature.
Today, the construction work on erstwhile neglected Multi- Billion Naira 2nd Niger bridge which politicians have been using to deceive Ndigbo right from the period of Nigeria’s Second Republic, has finally begun and is expected to be delivered on schedule in 2017 as promised
While it is on record that most of the projects have been completed, others are at various stages of completion all over the country.
They include the construction and rehabilitation of Kano-Maiduguri Road linking Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Yobe and Borno states, to the Onitsha-Owerri Road and Onitsha Eastern Bypass road.
Nigerians traveling from Abuja, via Abaji -Lokoja to Benin in Edo state are now heaving a sigh of relief as the dualization of the road has reached an advanced stage
This is just as the reconstruction of Ijebu- Ajegunle-Araromi-Ife-Sekona Road in Ogun state, the Kano-Daura-Mai Adua Road in Katsina state and that of Gombe- Numan-Yola Road in Adamawa state has been on going with exception of Savanah Sugar portion.
Amongst other roads currently receiving attention are those of the Langtag-Lanin- Tunkus Road in Plateau state and Vom- Manchok Road in Kaduna state
Dualization of Suleja-Minna Road in Niger state as well as rehabilitation of Aba- Owerri Road, Ayangba-Ajaokuta Road in kogi state and the Kano-Western bye-pass in Kano in Kano and Onitsha-Enugu and Ibadan-Ilorin roads
With the East-West Road linking the South-South to other parts nearing completion, many Nigerians are aware that this country has never had it so good as go single administration has painstakingly invested in infrastructure as been done under President Jonathan’s administration.
In the rail transport sector, the Lagos- Ibadan-Osogbo-Ilorin-Minna-Kaduna- Zaria-Kano narrow gauge was rehabilitated to now provide fast rail services along these routes
The Enugu-Port Harcourt-Enugu intercity train has also been opened for operations while container cargo freight services from Apapa port complex have commenced as well
The Port Harcourt-Aba-Umuahia-Enugu- Markurdi-Lafia-Kuru-Bauchi-Gombe- Ashaka-Maiduguri rail project is ongoing. Same for the Kafanchan to Kaduna branch lines which are at completion stages
The Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge rail line has reached an advanced stage and is expected to become operational in the first quarter of 2016.