Minister clarifies misrepresentation of his statement on Nigeria, US

Responding to a journalist’s question on the issue during an inspection tour of the ongoing rehabilitation of the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Dual Carriageway Sections I to III, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said: ”The first point to make is that I didn’t say that Nigeria’s infrastructure was better than America’s infrastructure because certainly anybody who knows what he is doing will know that America is a much richer nation, their infrastructure is well ahead of Nigeria.”

“What I was talking about at the presentation with the All Progressives Congress, (APC) Youth Ministerial Conference was about the challenges of infrastructure and that it is universal, every country commits to infrastructure as a legitimate way to create work, to grow the economy and distribute wealth as we have seen here.”

”That’s the first point I was making, and that in a democracy you always need the Parliament to authorize what you spend on infrastructure and so I was making the comparison that Buhari has been able to get his Parliament to authorize his spending, and that is why we were even able to gather here (at the Special Ministerial Conversational Conference). But that the American government is struggling to get authorisation from their own parliament to start what we are already doing. I didn’t say our infrastructure is better than theirs,” he said.

According to the Minister, the deliberate misreporting of his clear statement of fact and the almost spontaneous orchestration of reactions based on the misrepresentation on the social media should send a clear warning to right thinking and well-meaning Nigerians about the type of campaign which the main opposition wants to run towards the 2023 election.

“It’s a campaign of lies and misinformation. The main opposition has a very uncomfortable relationship with the truth, so they are going to run a campaign of lies and disinformation, so we must be ready for it.”

“The progress we are making here make them very uncomfortable, so they can’t disprove that work is going on, they can’t disprove that infrastructure is being developed so they are going to look for every way to distort and misinform the public,” he said .

Noting that he remains undaunted by the unwarranted attacks based on misinformation, the Minister said he took time to make the clarification in the course of the inspection tour to alert well-meaning Nigerians to the kind of campaign which the main opposition wants to run.


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