SGF, Afe Babalola task financial institutions on infrastructural development
THE Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal has urged financial institutions to support the government
at all levels for the provision of quality infrastructure and service delivery to Nigerians.
Babachir, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday at the
yearly conference of Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), said this alongside the keynote speaker, Aare Afe Babalola and others, emphasising the need for infrastructural development to square up with other developed nations of the world.
He reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to any initiative that would improve the lot of the country in such direction, thereby urging NSE to issue its communiqué and forward its recommendations, as demanded by President Buhari.
For Aare Afe Babalola, who gave the keynote address, there are six problems confronting sustainable infrastructural development in Nigeria.
Babalola listed three main drawbacks as the negative influence of a corrupt and retrogressive political class; lack of proper funding and finance necessary to drive infrastructural development and overdependence on foreign technology, goods and services for local projects.
The founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, ABUAD, also listed the weakening of local infrastructural development and maintenance capabilities; erosion of a culture of technological innovation and research in our universities; and lopsided manpower deployment in engineering and technology institutions and ministries as the other hindrances to national infrastructural development.
The legal luminary who had his first degree in economics said “infrastructural development is economically sustainable if it results in the growth of the economy, job creation and eradication of poverty.
“Weak infrastructure affects economic growth. Difficulties accessing markets via crumbling roads or clogged up ports and vast expenditure on generators required to avoid blackouts are regularly cited as the biggest challenges to investors in this country.
“The focus of the governments must be to fund and support projects that could stimulate economic growth. Any so called infrastructure project that does not contribute to the goals of removing barriers to economic growth or support economic productivity is, in my opinion, a white elephant and an unsustainable one.”