Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says the federal government has a lot to show for all the loans it has taken.
Mohammed said this on Thursday at a town-hall meeting to address the destruction of power and communication infrastructure in Maiduguri, Borno state.
The minister said the government is not borrowing to finance recurrent expenditure but to build world-class infrastructure across the country.
“Naysayers have recently ramped up their criticism of the Buhari administration for borrowing. These critics are insincere. We are not borrowing for recurrent expenditure or to pay salaries,” he said.
“We are borrowing to build world-class infrastructure that will benefit generations of Nigerians. We have a lot to show for the loans we have taken.
“There is a road project in every state. Today, we have started the countdown to when the second Niger bridge, which successive administrations have built only on paper, will be completed.
“The list of projects we are handling with the loans we obtained is long.”
Mohammed lamented that the destruction of public infrastructure “is worse than we had imagined”.
“For example, we were told that it would cost the federal government N3.8 billion to repair just four bridges that were damaged by vandals and petrol-laden tankers,” he said.
“That’s a huge amount that could have been used to build new infrastructure. It is common knowledge that massive infrastructure deficit is among the challenges we face in Nigeria.
“This is why the Muhammadu Buhari administration has deliberately adopted an inclusive infrastructure provisioning framework that spreads to all sections of the country.
“Despite a drastic drop in revenues and competing priorities, especially that of battling insecurity, the federal government has invested heavily in providing new infrastructure, as well as reconstructing and rehabilitating existing ones.”
The minister added that the insurgents will fail in their bid to use the destruction of power and communications infrastructure to inflict pain on the people because the military is decimating them.