By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has expressed dissatisfaction on the slow pace of work on the construction of Umunya road in Awka, Anambra State.
Fashola expressed his dissatisfaction during an inspection tour of Amansea section of the rehabilitation of Onitsha-Enugu Expressway, Anambra; and the tour of the Federal Secretariat, Awka; as well as the National Housing Programme at Isiagwu, the Second Niger Bridge in Anambra and Delta States and the National Housing Programme in Asaba,Delta State.
He said the president has continued to show commitment to infrastructure as the quickest way to employing people.
A statement signed by Stephen Kilebi Deputy Director (Press), said the Minister further said, “the policies have extensive impact on the people. When the president said his government wants to lift 100 million people out of poverty he knows what he is saying.”
Whilst going round the sites, the Minister also interacted with workers who were full of appreciation to the present administration for giving them the opportunity to work and earn a living rather than adventuring into crime.
He explained that the end product would be constructing of roads, building estates, block molding, food supplies among others.
“All those works mentioned above would boost human capacity and provide employment and at the end boost the economy,”Fashola stated.
While maintaining that, the living standard of the community and its environs will change, Fashola added that, “It is the initial value chain of the economy which is the first impact you feel when it comes to infrastructure.”
Other sites inspected was the NHP site at Isiagwu, where the minister observed significant improvements on the site as compared to what was obtainable when he first came to the site.
He further said it was a far sighted vision by the state government to open up the community, but was still expectant on their commitment to open up more roads as it would take some time for the Isiagwu community to come alive.
During the inspection of the Federal Secretariat project in Awka the supervisor, Engr. Nnamdi Umeji who conducted the minister round the site said the project had reached 90% completion level.
The contractor handling the project observed,that the project had no provision for a lift as it was not budgeted for.
The Minster asked him to submit the design and cost implication for the provision of a lift booth which the contractor promised to submit within three weeks.
Also inspected was the National Housing Programme in Asaba located along Benin-Asaba expressway.
The project supervisor, Arc. Godwin Otobo said the first phase of the semidetached houses had reached almost 100% completion level.
He charged the contractor to expedite action on the project and the construction of the second Niger Bridge which had reached over 30% completion level. It was revealed that the Second Niger Bridge will be completed in year 2022.
Earlier, during the interaction, Sunday Etikwu, a mason at one of the National Housing Programme(NHP)site who was visibly excited said he received a daily pay of N4,500 naira and works all through the week.
A food vendor Mrs. Ebele Chukwu also expressed happiness for the opportunity to cook and sell alongside her husband who works as a labourer at the site saying that they go home with at least N5,000 naira daily.