Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, announced this at the Herbert Macaulay Memorial Lecture at University of Nigeria, Nsukka, yesterday.
Fashola said the President had approved N120 billion from the funds for the rehabilitation of 36 roads across the country.
The minister also said Nigeria lost its best opportunity for development during the oil boom from 2007 to 2015 to stomach infrastructure.
Fashola said at the lecture organised by Faculty of Engineering of University of Nigeria, Nsukka, that “while other oil producing countries were busy building their nations at a time oil prices were high, the past administration in Nigeria started a different form of development, known as infrastructure of the stomach.
“We should never forget this. We decided to share the money rather than invest the money just to win elections. The money that should have been used to fund the Abakaliki rice was used to import rice.
“This is the opportunity that President Buhari has come to recover through the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan. So, when the President is talking of change, he is talking of a time when we will invest in real infrastructural development and not stomach infrastructure.
“Unlike before, President Buhari has made a choice and that choice has led to massive development across the country.”
He also said the ministry had awarded contracts for the rehabilitation of roads in 14 federal universities, including the UNN, and carried out energy audit in the 37 federal universities.
In his welcome address, Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, said: “The Herbert Macaulay Memorial Lecture was instituted by a special resolution of the Board of Faculty of Engineering in 1978, adding that this year marks the 40th anniversary lecture in the institution.
He said: “To deliver this year’s lecture, we sought for a personality who has had experience in the management of engineering-related infrastructure and who presently occupies a very sensitive position where engineering plays significant roles in our national development.
“We found such a personality in the person of Mr Raji Babatunde Fashola, the immediate past governor of Lagos State and current Minister of Power, Works and Housing.”
In his speech, Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Prof. O.U. Okparaku, said Fashola, was “a special person with the pedigree, experience, knowledge and versatility to deliver a lecture, which will cut across various sectors in which engineering science and technology have made significant impacts in human development and our national life.”
“Your Excellency, we thank you for honouring our invitation to deliver our special lecture. We are here to tap from your knowledge and experience not only from the ministry of power, works and housing but also from the Lagos State Government where you managed engineering related infrastructural development for eight years.
“The lecture series has since inception focused on the achievements, problems and prospects of the development of engineering technology in Nigeria. Issues raised during these events have in one way or the other impacted professional practice and development of the engineering profession in our country.’’
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