Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has said Nigeria lost its best opportunity for massive development to stomach infrastructure between 2007 and 2015.
Fashola, who was a guest lecturer during the Herbert Macaulay Memorial Lecture (HMML) of the Faculty of Engineering, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, yesterday, said: “While other oil producing countries were busy building their nations at a time when oil prices peaked, the past administration in Nigeria developed a different form of development known as stomach infrastructure.
“We should never forget this. We decided to share the money rather than invest the money, just to win elections. The money that should have been used to fund the Abakaliki rice was used to import rice.
“This is the opportunity that President Muhammadu Buhari has come to recover, through the enormous development and recovery plan. So, when the president is talking of change, he is taking of a time when we will invest in real infrastructure development and not stomach infrastructure.
“Unlike before, President Buhari has made a choice, and that choice has led to massive development across the country,” he said.
Earlier, UNN Vice Chancellor, Prof. Benjamin Chukwuma Ozumba, said: “The lecture was instituted by a special resolution of the Board of our Faculty of Engineering in 1978.
“This year marks the 40th anniversary of the institution of this lecture, HMML series, which is held biennially in honour of Herbert Helias Macaulay, the Father of Nigerian nationalism, an engineer, architect and surveyor.
“To deliver the special HMML, we sought for a personality who has experience in the management of engineering-related infrastructure. We found such a personality in the person of Mr. Fashola.”
Ozumba said the lecture has provided a platform for an in depth discussion of engineering problems and their solutions and, since inception, provided significant contributions to national development.
Also, in a remark, the Dean of Faculty of Engineering, Prof. Ogbonna Oparaku, thanked the guest lecturer for honouring the invitation to deliver the Special HMML.