By Kehinde Emmanuel, Ilorin
Mr Zakari Mohammed, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the Kwara North Senatorial Election has advocated for private sector investment in fixing the decay road infrastructures in the country.
Mohammed, who made this call on Wednesday in Ilorin, asserted that no government had ever succeeded in fixing the infrastructure through the yearly budget.
“It is not compulsory for government to invest in infrastructure. Now people don’t even do that. We have companies that are reputable that can mobilize fund from any part of the world to come and develop those roads and they toll it over a period of time.
“Our laws are very simple. They should bring those proposals; let’s change our laws. Let people be given those roads to maintain. Those money, we can free resources and use it to fix some other things.
“A typical example is the road between Lokoja and Abuja. It has been awarded, re-awarded and re-awarded. It is a total mess even though if the road is completed at what cost?
“I believe the private sector must be brought in to build Nigerian roads. It’s simple. If you need a road from here to Lagos to Abuja, take a fresh land give us a road from here to Lagos, toll it.
>“So if you want to pass through in you can pass through it and pay. You can toll it in four points, you pay N100 each. As long as I know that my car will be okay and enjoy my journey, I can pay N400 and move on that road.
“If you want to go through the conventional one which is not tolled, you can go through it. It happens abroad; the choice is yours. So for me I don’t know why we are hesitating about it.
“You have to free the resources of government and fix it in critical needs. No government has ever succeeded in fixing the infrastructure through the yearly budget. It is a waste of time because bureaucracy of releasing funds, the bureaucracy of legislature, the bureaucracy of cash-backing or no cash-backing; cash-forwarding is involved.
“All these are jargons, I believe will not give us result on the table. So I believe bringing in private sector is the solution to it. Let us look at it, any country that develop is through deliberate effort not by mistake or accidental; deliberate planning. I believe those roads are not too expensive to fix by the private sector”, he said.
Mohammed, who is presently representing Baruten/Kaiama constituency at the House of Representatives, expressed dismay over the deplorable state of roads in the constituency.
He identified Kishi-Kaiama, Kosubosu-Kaiama, New Bussa-Wawa-Kaiama roads among others that were in bad state in the axis.
The lawmaker, who was in the House since 2011, claimed that his legislative experience and service to people in various capacities were enough credential
“Our campaign centred on exactly what we did in the past not on what we are about to do because for us it is acting on experience. We have said this couple of times that it is better to give your job to an experience hand rather than giving it to somebody who will be trying and that is exactly what has happened.
“We are focus; we are coming from the standpoint of experience. In the last eight years or even before then, I had the opportunity to serve them at various capacities.
“Of course you could have shown them what you could offer and what you have been able to offer. For me running for the Senate is a familiar terrain having been in the Green chamber for almost eight years. I have given good account of myself in terms of representation, oversight and lawmaking”, said former chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs.
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