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How Obasanjo’s policies contributed to infrastructural decay in Nigeria — Fashola

MINISTER of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has accused the Olusegun Obasanjo-led administration of misplaced priority.

Obasanjo, whose tenure marked the beginning of the Fourth Republic after the aborted Third Republic, became the civilian president of Nigeria after a long spell of military rule.

The former military head of states eventually ruled for eight years (1999-2007).

But speaking at an event to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence, Fashola blamed former President Obasanjo, for being partly responsible for the weak infrastructural base in Nigeria.

Fashola said Obasanjo should have invested in capital projects across the country, instead of paying off the country’s external debts.

According to the Minister, if he had the $12 billion like the Olusegun Obasanjo government in 2005, he would have built rails and more roads.

In 2005/2006, the Paris Club wrote off $18 billion of the $30 billion Nigeria owed the cartel after months of negotiations.
Fashola said that rather than deploy the funds prudently, the Obasanjo government decided to pay the creditors to the detriment of the country’s development.

According to Fashola, that is why most of the roads in Nigeria are in deplorable states

“At one time in this country, in 2005, we had $12 billion. At that time, these roads were bad. At that time there was no rail.

But what did we do as a matter of state policy, it was just to pay creditors to our own detriment.

“I can only imagine if I had the opportunity then with $12 billion in my hand, we would have built rails and roads. What this government is dealing with, which I am responsible for, is the infrastructure that will be enduring,” Fashola said.

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