Works and Housing Minister, Babatunde Fashola, says comments attributed to him in the media concerning Nigeria’s and America’s infrastructure, were a misrepresentation and a tissue of lies.
Responding to a journalist’s question on the subject during an inspection tour of the ongoing rehabilitation of the Abuja- Kaduna- Zaria -Kano Dual Carriageway Sections I to III, 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’s.
“What I was talking about at the presentation with the APC Youth Ministerial Conference was 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.”
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Fashola also put the misrepresentation down to politics and a campaign of calumny from the opposition.
“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 makes them very uncomfortable, so they can’t disprove that work it 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 added.
Fashola also asked the public to be wary of what they consume in the media.
“For me, I am fine. It’s for members of the public to be vigilant about the campaign of lies the main opposition wants to run,” the minister said.