The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says the 2019 re-election bid of President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC government will be very easy.
The minister stated this on Tuesday in Oyo while inspecting the 52-kilometre dualised Oyo-Ogbomosho road project under construction by Reynold Construction Company.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the N47.5 billion project is the section two of the entire Ibadan-Ilorin road dualisation construction project.
Section one of the road construction project, which is Ibadan-Oyo, as well as section three which is Ogbomoso-Ilorin, had been completed.
Addressing newsmen at the construction site, Mohammed said the administration “is so confident of its re-election in 2019 because of what are being delivered in terms of infrastructure and social welfare.
Mohammed said: “The proper and easy ways you can get the electorate to vote for you are by keeping your promises to them, delivering on your promises and embarking on projects which touch their lives.
“Either in term of infrastructure or social interventions, we are working everyday for the people. We are working for the common man in this country.
“As of today, we feed 8.2 million children in public primary schools all over Nigeria.
“In the process, we engaged 7000 cooks and the feeding programme in about 24 states covered 62,000 Primary schools.
“These are what we are doing and that is why we are so confident that our re-election will be easy.”
The minister said the administration would not engage in banters with critics but will continue to showcase its achievements for people to see and make conclusions.
On the road project which the contractor said was 52 per cent completed, the minister gave an assurance that funding would no longer be the constraint to its timely completion.
Mohammed said: “Funding will no longer be a challenge to many of our critical road projects.
“This is because the N191 billion presidential intervention fund has been put in place and critical roads like this will benefit from the funding.”
Mohammed said people were not able to see and appreciate the level of work done on the Oyo-Ogbomosho road project because it was been constructed along Oyo town by-pass
He said: “You need to come here to see the amount of work that is going on.
“I am happy that it is not a paper project; we have been told by the contractor that it is 52 per cent completed.
“I am very confident that we are not going to encounter any funding challenge.”
He said the project was being financed from the N100 billion Sukuk loan secured by the Federal Government
He said: “We took the Sukuk loan of N100billion which was divided into six equal parts each for the geopolitical zones.
“We decided in the south-west zone that the Oyo-Ogbomosho road should benefit from our own part of Sukuk.
“That is why we are able to get the contractor back on site to complete the project.”
Omotayo Awosanya, the Federal Controller of Works in Oyo State, who conducted the minister round the project, said the road contract was awarded in June 2010.
Awosanya said: “The initial completion period was for 40 months. It was supposed to have been completed by October 2013.
“When it was initially awarded by the previous administration, there was no proper funding which caused the delay.
“Since the present regime of President Buhari, funding has improved and the project is going on well.
“We are also lucky that this project is benefitting from the Sukuk fund in addition to what the budget can provide.”
Awosanya said the government had so far paid the contractor about N26 billion from the N47.5 billion total contract cost.
On the significance of the road, Awosanya said, “it is a corridor of the extension of Lagos- Ibadan that will accommodate traffic generated in Ibadan and Oyo going towards the North”.
On his part, the Project Manager, Harel Vaknin, who spoke on behalf of Reynolds Construction Company, said it is the main highway linking the Western and Northern parts of the country.
He said the four-lane highway consists of 7.30 metre wide roadway in each direction with two interchange bridge construction.