I was reading a journalist’s work recently in which he makes the point that infrastructure problems are “impeding economic development.” George Okojie went to write:
The problem has continued unabated because when transportation decision-makers at the federal, state, and local levels discuss possible investments in highway infrastructure and the impacts, they sometimes overlook one very important potential impact – the economic benefits to national productivity and employment.
The policy makers seemed to be oblivious of the fact that good, dependable transportation infrastructure, be it roads, rail, airports, seaports allow businesses to receive inputs to production facilities and to transport finished goods to market in an efficient manner.
An efficient transportation system enable companies to lower transportation costs, which lowers production costs and enhances productivity and profit simply because they are the arteries for the free flow of people, goods and information. These are three indices necessary in a manufacturing and export economy.
George was writing about Nigeria.
Well, how about that for a coincidence.
His numbers don’t resonate with us, except to say that the country is losing a massive amount of income and facing huge operating costs because of a substandard transportation infrastructure. Better roads are needed for public safety and economic prosperity and competiveness. But despite good intentions work remains undone and the costs go up.
Now read on. Foreigners, and that includes us of course, are not welcome as road builders from at least one perspective, that of a local geology professor. “Fleecing” and “corruption” are involved with foreign road builders says professor Ebenezer Meshida.
The whole story on the AllAfrica website is one interesting read. I don’t recommend it for its working value to us, but it something that can bring a little perspective. It lets us see a little bit of what people in another country are facing.