OP-ED Opinions 

What Nigeria And Africa Should Learn From America’s Infrastructure Agenda, By Dr. Chido Nwangwu

It was former President Bill Clinton’s Press Secretary Mike McCurry who sometime ago spoke in projection of the focus of the Democratic Party. McCurry whom I met and chatted with in South Africa when I traveled with and covered U.S. President Bill Clinton’s historic visit to parts of Africa, March-April 2, 1998, has argued “There’s a wider agenda that speaks to what the Democratic Party has historically stood for, which are economic rights for those who are struggling in the middle class, concern for the poor, for economic justice for those who are marginalized in our society.” There are millions in his party who believe the same aspirations and achievement of such important purposes.

Even more strongly than Mr. McCurry, the President of the United States, Joe Biden, has made the same arguments, legislated for, voted for and proposed that agenda for more than 50 years of his engagement with public service!

In the usual intra-party squabbles of the Democratic Party, they sent mixed and confusing messages about their handling of the Biden Infrastructure agenda to rebuild aspects of America and reposition better for the digital competition, environmental science and energy efficiency necessary. 

I do know that those three areas constitute the dominant highways to economic success and leadership.

After all the zig and zag, the formidable Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi reorganized her parliamentary tactics and strategy. In a couple of days, the House approved bipartisan infrastructure legislation last Friday November 5, 2021 — advancing the President’s agenda.

It is the $1.2 trillion “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act” H.R. 3684, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, or BIF. It increases investments and spending on road and technology highways. BIF projects and provides substantial funding for better transit and rail networks across the country. Also, it supports the development and research into electric vehicles, climate change issues, harnessing of green energy and explore other solutions to some of the environmental challenges which Americans and the world are facing, currently and into the future!

Biden has commended the bill as: 

“A once-in-a-generation investment that’s going to create millions of jobs, modernize our infrastructure, roads, bridges, broadband, a whole range of things. To turn the climate crisis into an opportunity…. It puts us on a path to win the economic competition of the 21st century that we face from China and other large countries in the rest of the world.” He also promised: “It’s going to create more jobs — good-paying jobs, union jobs — that can’t be outsourced.”

Some of the high points of his agenda include yearly grants for energy efficiency programs, energy efficiency building codes, enhanced energy efficiency standards for manufacturing and industrial facilities, 

use of battery power, battery storage, battery mineral processing and recycling.

The package also deals with one of the issues faced in some poor neighborhoods namely that of healthy, clean, drinking water infrastructure and for lead service line replacement and the prevention of polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination. 

Significantly, the Biden and BIF legislative package seeks to plant more than 1 billion trees. 

Somehow, the toxicity of rabid partisanship have seen some moderate Republicans face death threats and severe attacks from their radical party members especially those who wake up on sleep and swear by anything former President Donald J. Trump says!

Hopefully, many of the mismanaged and corruption-ridden African countries can borrow or copy to adapt several of the strategic and tactical ideas about the competitive future and paradigm shifts for all economies. Or, will Nigeria and Africa be colonized again?

Chido Nwangwu

Founder & Publisher USAfricaonline.com, first African-owned U,S-based newspaper published on the Internet, served as an adviser on Africa business to former Mayor of Houston, Texas. @Chido247

Sourced From Sahara Reporters

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