Ladies and Gentlemen,
This is an auspicious African day, in the capital city of Africa’s most populous nation.
It is an African day of Pride, where the story of Africa’s long-awaited Renaissance begins to unfold inside her largest country by population and GDP.
It is a day of Pride for the African Union and Her Dreams for the continent. The policies and programmes that have been inaugurated over the years are beginning to bear fruits and results.
The Trans African Highway programme, launched in 1971 sought to connect the whole of African through a major system of Nine (9) highways, the TAH1 to the TAH9 covering an aggregate distance of 56,683km.
The African Development Bank, a financial institution set up to support the African Countries in their developmental objectives.
The African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement set up to create a unified, borderless market of over one billion people to facilitate intra-African Trade.
I am delighted to report that Nigeria is playing her membership and leadership role in all of these institutions and in the pursuit of achieving their objectives.
Only a few days ago in the city of Lagos, our private sector opened a 3,000 metric tonne granular Fertilizer Company to support Farmers and Agriculturalists on the African continent and beyond.
Our collaboration with the African Development Bank has been productive and results are now manifest in projects like the Mfum-Bamenda Bridge that connects Nigeria and the Republic of Cameroon. I also acknowledge the support of the Bank in financing Feasibilities, Consultancies and Pre-construction work on the Lagos-Abidjan Corridor comprising Nigeria, the Republic of Benin, Togo, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire which is part of Trans African Highway No. 7 from Dakar in Senegal to Lagos in Nigeria.
I am happy to report that the Nigerian sections of this highway is now under construction on the Lagos-Badagry corridor through our local financing institution such as the Tax Credit Scheme introduced by Executive Order No. 7; and in collaboration with the Lagos State Government.
I am able to report that apart from Trans African Highway No. 7, Nigeria is also connected by Trans African Highways No. 2, Algiers to Lagos and Trans African Highway No. 8, Lagos – Mombasa.
The East to West crossing of Nigeria across the Second River Niger Bridge which will be finished this year is a major investment by Nigeria on the Lagos-Mombasa Trans African Highway, as is the Enugu – Abakaliki to Mfum Highway.
The 375Km Abuja to Kano that is now under construction is Nigeria’s major part of the Trans African Highway No. 2; Algiers to Lagos.
Apart from these Trans African connections, we are rebuilding, expanding or replacing strategic Highways and Bridges across our country.
The Apapa-Oworonshoki Highway in Lagos is strategic for trade and business facilitation to support our busiest and largest Sea Port in Apapa and Tin Can Island.
The Suleja-Minna Highway is critical to our petroleum distribution network and access to strategic petroleum products Depot in Niger State; and it is receiving attention, while the Calabar-Itu-Odukpani unlocks access to agricultural produce and supports mining and extractive activities for construction, in the South South and South East of Nigeria.
Ladies and Gentlemen, these are only examples of over 13,000Km of Road and Bridge construction, expansion and rehabilitation nationwide.
They have been a major boost for the growth of our economy, keeping people at work; driving a supply value chain, stimulating productivity at Quarries, Cement Factories, Steel Factories, and the Petroleum sectors for lubricants, fuel and bitumen.
Our most recent GDP results of 3.40%, the biggest in the last 7 years clearly show that the construction sub-sectors and related sub-sectors of the economy were among the big performers of the growth surge.
Very evidently, infrastructure investment is good for the economy.
By building Roads, we are building Economies.
The founding vision of African Leaders is coming to fruition, Evidence of the African Renaissance is being showed today in Nigeria.
The Trophee Babacar Ndiaye 2022 at the 7th Edition of Africa Road Builders symbolizes this Renaissance.
On behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I accept the Africa Road Builders Award for the Hope, Prosperity and Progress that it symbolizes.