President Muhammdu Buhari on Wednesday admitted that Nigerian roads are “dead” and required urgent attention of the Federal Government.
The president spoke at a dinner he hosted in honour of senators at the new Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja Wednesday night.
The event was also attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu; the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu; top government officials and presidential aides.
“The roads are dead,” Mr. Buhari said. “Those who drive between Lagos and Ibadan will have a lot of stories to tell you. Those who drive from Kaduna to Jebba may have more stories to tell. The same thing is applicable to the East West roads.”
The president asked the lawmakers to concentrate on the challenge of infrastructure confronting the country, including rail and power.
According to him, if the government could get the railways working, lives and fuel would be saved.
He also urged them to study the various agreements Nigeria entered into in the last six years with a view to detecting where the country had defaulted, especially in the area of counterpart funding.
Ahead of the submission of the 2016 Budget to the National Assembly, Mr. Buhari asked the legislature to treat the budget with the same sense of urgency it treated his request for the confirmation of ministerial nominee.
He said the government was enjoying tremendous goodwill outside Nigeria, adding “what we do, let us have it in mind that people have confidence in this government”.
He however lamented that the drop in the price of oil was affecting the operations of government negatively.
Responding on behalf of the senators, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, thanked Mr. Buhari for the dinner and pledged their continued support for his administration.
Stating that the challenges ahead were enormous, the senate president however said he believed that “when God gives man a position, He would also equip him with the capacity to carry out the task.”
He assured that the Senate would not be biased in treating national issues.
“Petrol does not know APC or PDP,” Mr. Saraki said. “We will always work hard in the interest of the country in everything we do.”