From the beginning of last year, and as we moved towards the general elections, the tractors were at work at different locations in the country. The administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan appeared to be in haste to fulfill its promise not to allow for any abandoned project. But the sharp decline in the resources from crude oil made that impossible.
Work started to wane as the election drew near. Then by the time the administration of Muhammadu Buhari took office, the crisis of cash crunch had reached an alarming proportion. State and federal governments were too indebted even to workers in public service to be able to pay construction firms to continue with infrastructural development.
The reality today is that the companies are down laying off workers and being at the mercy of banks from where they took facilities to do the work for which the governments, at different levels, are owing them. The result is that some of them, particularly foreign firms, are reconsidering their stay in Nigeria.
Tajudeen Suleiman, senior associate editor is one of the media men who got the complaint of the Federation of Construction Industry, FOCI. But he decided to do more legwork and find out how this development has impacted on the country and its people. The outcome of his findings is contained in the story, Construction Firms on Death Row. When he sent the story, it was decided by the editorial board that it should be the cover in this edition.
The level of construction of infrastructure determines the health of the economy of a nation. That is part of the challenges ahead for the cabinet that President Buhari is putting together. But while some people describe as an anti-climax the list that came out of almost four months of ground work, the irony is that much of the noise against his team is coming from his All Progressives Congress, APC. Yet, anyone who scales through will have to contend with the challenges bordering on his contribution to efforts at stabilizing the economy, and improving other sectors like health, security, and education. The lot again fell on Suleiman, because of his hold on National Assembly matters, to chew the nut. He did a good job of it, thus the story; Challenges of The Buhari Team.
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