The Federal Government is to partner with India to boost infrastructure development in the country, Mustpha Shehuri, the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing has said.
Shehuri who made this known on Tuesday in Abuja when the India’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Abhay Thakur, paid him a courtesy visit, said that the federal government has recorded remarkable achievements in road, power and housing sectors of the country since its inception in 2015.
The minister recalled that in 2015, power generation in the country was about 3,000 mega watts but the policies of the administration had improved generation and transmission to about 7,000 megawatts.
“We are now battling with the distribution chain, and as you know, the chain has been privatised although government still has 40 per cent of the shares.
“Distribution is the weak link in the chain and the Federal Government is doing all it could in terms of policy to ensure that the distribution is strengthened,” he said.
He said that the Federal Government inherited a decayed road sector with budgetary provision of about N15 billion in 2015.
According to him, the first budget of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in 2016 allocated over N270 billion to the road sector.
“Apart from the budgetary allocation, there are other areas that government has been exploiting to fund road projects.
“Truly speaking, government alone through its budgetary provision cannot fund road projects.
“The government is looking at ways to partner with the private sector to build roads and provide affordable houses to Nigerians.
“These are areas the government of India and Nigeria will work together for the benefit of Nigerian citizens,” he said.
Thakur said the visit was to congratulate Nigerians for the successful and peaceful conduct of the Feb. 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections.
He said India has projects worth over 100 million dollars in Nigeria in the power sector under the Developmental Cooperation Programme.
The high commissioner commended the Federal Government for the opportunities given to the government and people of India in the development of Nigeria’s infrastructure.