With barely 48 hours to the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, says the government has made things better than it met them
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Channels Television, Fashola maintained that Buhari’s government has effected changes that have impacted the economy positively, thus fulfilling the change mantra of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“I think it a very difficult place to self-assess, but I think from the feedback that we get from those we serve. Clearly, the feedback is encouraging and it indicates that things have moved in a better direction from where we picked it up and that means that we have moved the needle. We made things better than they were and we lived our mantra of change in that sense,” Fashola said
To buttress his point, he cited the reduction in travel time on major roads.
“Travel time for example on some of the major roads when we did a survey about a year and a half ago has generally on the average reduced by about 55 percent,” he noted.
“Subject to the inflation and cost of living increases being experienced, we also saw that cost of travel had dropped by about 55 percent around the same period when we did the survey and that is good news for the economy.”
Asked what his top priority would be if by chance he is returned by the incoming administration, Fashola said, “I think that is extremely hypothetical and when you look at it, I think you should go to our conference room and it will tell you the reason why I should not be here anymore.
“Just go and look at all of those who served from Shagari to Femi Okunnu, Obasanjo to Inuwa Wada to Tafawa Balewa, they were in their 30s when they took this job. So, if we say really and truly that this is time for young people, if you don’t move the production line, how do you inject new capacity?”
Fashola said there is a misconception that the new government will remove subsidy.
He said that the 2023 budget has no subsidy component beyond June.
“So, as a matter of policy, this current government has decided we can’t fund subsidy anymore, we are taking it to the end of our administration. As a matter of law, the Nigerian people have passed a law to end subsidy in June that is my own perspective because it was made by the National Assembly,” the Minister added.