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‘Nigerians desperate for pocket change,’ Minister says

Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi has said that Nigerians are becoming impatient with the Muhammadu Buhari government on the change it promised before coming into office.

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Amaechi made the remark on May 24, 2016, while speaking at a forum organised by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

“We didn’t anticipate that things were this bad. We thought you go to government and there would be money for you to run government and others. Now you have the situation where there is no money to run government. I hate to use the word difficult; I hate to use the word impossible but we met things close to difficult and impossibility,” the minister said.

“That is why Nigerians are impatient; they want to see results and for them, change is not about change in structure, it is about change in their pocket. Because their pocket is getting dried and they wanted us to put some more resources in their pocket.

“What I usually say to people is that we beg you to give us time; we will achieve our objective if you give us time and we will both thank God for that opportunity. We need over 50.9 billion dollars in the next five years to develop infrastructure and 50 billion dollars is not a joke.

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“One of the infrastructure we are trying to develop is the railway infrastructure; the president has kindly agreed that he will fund it because the contract was awarded by Obasanjo, the former president; he awarded the contract for Lagos to Kano. President Jonathan awarded the contract for Lagos to Calabar, what the president has agreed to do is to fund it; he said can we fund the ones we have already awarded; no more awards until we have developed the ones we have awarded.

“So we are focusing on the Lagos to Kano railway and the Lagos to Calabar rail line. If you look at the communities surrounding this rail line; Lagos to Kano will start from Lagos to Ibadan; it will impact on so many sectors of the economy including housing; people who ordinarily will not be able to pay for house rent in Lagos can live in Ibadan, can live in Ogun and come to work in Lagos,” he added.

Buhari had said earlier that his administration met an empty treasury.

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