Former head of Nigeria’s controversial and illegal Interim National Government, Ernest Shonekan, has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to develop the needed political will to end the country’s infrastructure decay.
Mr. Shonekan stated that unless the Presidency showed a serious level of political will, the country’s infrastructure deficiency would continue.
Mr. Shonekan bared his mind at the State House in Abuja when he presented the 2011 annual report and audited financial statement of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission to President Jonathan.
Mr. Shonekan, who is the chairman of the commission, also warned against arbitrary withdrawal from projects once the development process is on. He said such withdrawals jeopardize the credibility of the Nigerian public/private participation program.
He enumerated the challenges confronting the commission in the realization of its goals. These challenges included inability to mobilize long term funding for project development, inability to commit ministries, departments and parastatals to a stable and coherent pipeline of private/public partnership, and poor project preparation by MDAs.
“Addressing these challenges is critical to the success of ICRC and the attainment of the infrastructure component of your transformation agenda,” he said. Mr. Shonekan added: “It will require the political will of the Presidency and all the others to make sure that the country’s infrastructure is developed.” He warned that, without infrastructures, Nigeria won’t see much progress.
“With all these disasters that have been happening round the world, even western countries which started their infrastructural development well before us are now thinking of doing fresh infrastructures because the infrastructures they had in the last century are becoming antiquated.
“We have an opportunity now to be able to do our own infrastructures. I think the best thing is to get people who are interested in the development of infrastructures to assist us in doing our own.
“That is why we said we will need the political will of the Presidency and all the others. Each and every one of us must contribute our quota to make sure that we developed our own. Without infrastructures, there will not be much progress.”