Jakarta – In a visit to Sumatra's southernmost province Lampung on Friday, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo pledged that the central government could take over the work of improving road infrastructure in the province if the provincial government failed to do the job.
President Jokowi said that he could immediately order Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimulyono to start working on repairing roads in Lampung if the provincial government did not move fast enough.
"I want the repair work to start as soon as possible and if the provincial government does not have the capacity to do it then the public works ministry can take over the project," Jokowi told reporters in a press briefing before commencing an inspection of the road network in South Lampung on Friday.
In the press briefing the President was joined by Basuki, Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan, State-Owned Enterprises Erick Thohir and Lampung Governor Arinal Djunaidi, who looked uncomfortable standing behind Jokowi.
In footage released by the President's press team, Arinal stood silently and at times looked away from the throngs of journalists who asked questions of the President.
Arinal could be seen nodding his head up when one reporter asked when the road repair work could commence in Lampung.
Arinal drew criticism on various social media platforms for his alleged harsh recriminations against the parents of Bima Yudho Saputro in Lampung, and after the student posted a video on TikTok criticizing the provincial government's lack of action in dealing with poor road conditions in the province.