President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that the 11.9km Second Niger Bridge, 120 km Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and other key projects under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) will be completed within the second term of this administration.
The President gave the assurance at the opening of a two-day Mid-Term Ministerial Performance Review Retreat organised to assess progress made towards the achievement of the nine key priorities of this Administration.
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He listed accomplishments in the areas of infrastructure, transportation, economy, electricity supply, the petroleum industry, among others at the third edition of the retreat since the second term of his administration.
“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.
“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 of Second Quarter 2021, GDP growth rate was at 5.01%, the highest since the inception of this administration.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, while speaking, said the 878 Contracts approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had mostly targeted the provision of infrastructure geared towards enabling faster economic growth and development.
Mustapha said the key focus of this Mid-Term Ministerial Retreat is to review the status of progress towards the delivery of the nine priority areas.
He said annual targets had been split into quarterly intermediate targets at the output and outcome levels to create an Early Warning System (EWS) and to address the issue of lack of intermediate targets.
The SGF said the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) will be submitting quarterly progress reports on the implementation of the Ministerial Mandates to the President to keep him apprised on the level of achievement of the deliverables against set targets.
“The outcome of the retreat is expected to pave the way to accelerate the delivery of Government policies, programmes, and projects over the remaining 19 months.
“Therefore, much is expected of us as Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Strategic Government Agencies if we must deliver on the President’s legacy projects,” he added.