In a bid to make key infrastructure investment a reality in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari says in 2020, government will complete within the course of the year, 13 housing estates under the National Housing Project Plan.
Buhari who stated this in a letter to Nigerians to commemorate the New Year, also assured Nigerians that in 2020, his government would complete 47 ongoing road projects, including those leading to the nation's ports and major bridges, including substantial work on the Second Niger Bridge.
According to him, "we are making key infrastructure investments to enhance our ease of doing business. On transportation, we are making significant progress on key roads such as the Second Niger Bridge, Lagos - Ibadan Expressway and the Abuja - Kano Highway. 2020 will also see tangible progress on the Lagos - Kano Rail Line.
He said: "Through Executive Order 007, we are also using alternative funding programmes in collaboration with private sector partners to fix strategic roads such as the Apapa-Oworonshoki Expressway. Abuja and Port Harcourt have new international airport terminals, as will Kano and Lagos in 2020. When completed, all these projects will positively impact business operations in the country.
These projects, the President said, were not small and did not come without some temporary disruption; "we are doing now what should have been done a long time ago. I thank you for your patience and look forward to the dividends that we and future generations will long enjoy.â€
While acknowledging that power has been a problem for generations, he noted: "We know we need to pick up the pace of progress. We have solutions to help separate parts of the value chain to work better together. In the past few months, we have engaged extensively with stakeholders to develop a series of comprehensive solutions to improve the reliability and availability of electricity across the country.â€
These solutions, according to President Buhari, include: ensuring fiscal sustainability for the sector, increasing both government and private sector investments in the power transmission and distribution segments, improving payment transparency through the deployment of smart meters, and ensuring regulatory actions to maximise service delivery.
He disclosed that "Nigeria has in place a new deal with Siemens, supported by the German government after German chancellor, Angela Merkel, visited us in Abuja to invest in new capacity for generation, transmission and distribution,â€ stressing that the projects will be under close scrutiny and transparency.
"The next 12 months will witness the gradual implementation of these actions, after which Nigerians can expect to see significant improvement in electricity service supply reliability and delivery. Separately, we have plans to increase domestic gas consumption. In the first quarter of 2020, we will commence work on the AKK Gas Pipeline, OB3 Gas Pipeline and the expansion of the Escravos - Lagos Pipeline.
"While we look to create new opportunities in agriculture, manufacturing and other long neglected sectors, in 2020, we will also realise increased value from oil and gas, delivering a more competitive, attractive and profitable industry, operating on commercial principles and free from political interference.â€
He said the Federal Government has been able to approve a fair framework for the USD10 billion expansion of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas which would increase exports by 35 per cent, restore our position as a world leader in the sector and create thousands of jobs.
Buhari disclosed that the amendment of the Deep Offshore Act in October signalled government's intention to create a modern, forward-looking industry in Nigeria.
"I am confident that in 2020 we will be able to present a radical programme of reform for oil and gas that will excite investors, improve governance and strengthen protections for host communities and the environment.
He highlighted some of the projects Nigerians should expect to come upstream from 2020 to also include: Lagos, Kano, Maiduguri and Enugu International Airports to be commissioned in 2020, launching of an Agricultural Rural Mechanisation Scheme that will cover 700 local governments over a period of three years, and launching of the Livestock Development Project Grazing Model in Gombe State where 200,000 hectares of land has been identified.
Others include: training of 50,000 workers to complement the country's 7,000 extension workers, commissioning of the Lagos - Ibadan and Itakpe - Warri Rail Lines in the first quarter, and commencement of the Ibadan - Abuja and Kano - Kaduna Rail Lines, also in the first quarter.
Furthermore, liberalisation of the power sector to allow businesses to generate and sell power, commencement of the construction of the Mambilla Power Project by the first half of 2020; as well as commencement of the construction of the AKK Gas Pipeline, OB3 Gas Pipeline and the expansion of the Escravos - Lagos Pipeline in the first quarter of 2020.