President Muhammadu Buhari has again left out the South East region in projects to be executed with the proposed $29.960 billion infrastructure loan.
The president had on Tuesday asked the Senate to approve the loan from multilateral financial institutions to enable his administration execute critical infrastructure and other social intervention initiatives across the country.
A breakdown of how the loan would be spent on infrastructure between 2016 and 2018 shows that none of the projects contained in the government’s document is located in the South East geo-political zone.
When asked the reason for the exclusion of the South East, the Special Assistant to the Minister of Finance on Media, Mr. Festus Akanbi said: “I don’t have an answer to your question. This is just a Federal Government thing that was presented today. It’s not a regional thing. There are other projects like agriculture.
“These are strategic things just like intervention for three years’ programme. That does not stop the Federal Government from planning for all the regions next year and in the 2018 budget. It’s just for support. It’s not the main thing, just an ad-hoc initiative.
“The government is going to sit down and work on the 2017 budget and all the regions will be covered. It has nothing to do with regions. These are specific projects on ground”.
The projects to be embarked upon are the Mambilla Hydro Electric Power Project ($4.8 billion), the Modernisation Coastal Railway Project (Calabar-Port Harcourt-Onne Deep Sea Port Segment) valued at $3.5 billion and the Abuja Mass Transit Rail Project (Phase 2) put at $1.6 billion.
Others are the Lagos-Kano Railway Modernisation Project (Lagos-Ibadan Segment Double Track) estimated at $1.3 billion and the Lagos-Kano Railway Modernisation Project (Kano-Kaduna Segment Double Track) valued at $1.1 billion.
The balance of $11 billion will be expended on Eurobond ($4.5 billion), Federal Government Budget Support ($3.5 billion), Social Support for Education and Health ($2.2 billion), Agriculture ($1.2 billion), and Economic Management and Statistics ($.2 billion).