By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, yesterday said the federal government has brought hope to the people through the National housing scheme of the present administration.
Fashola made the disclosure while presenting his Ministry’s scorecard and achievements on infrastructure development and provision across the country in commemoration of his three years in office.
He said “Our Three Years Score Card on Infrastructure Development: A Fulfillment of the “Change Mandate”
Added that the ‘’present government has no doubt move the nation forward by consolidating on the mandate of change promised Nigerians.
Addressing the media yesterday at a press conference held in Abuja ,he noted that there is the need to refresh on his inaugural statements titled, ‘’Setting the Agenda for Delivering Change,’’ when President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the present Federal Executive Council and the subsequent creation of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.
Fashola also reported that with regards to works, ‘’as at May, 2015, many contractors have stopped work due to lack of payment and many fathers and wives employed by them laid off as a result. The possibility to return those who have lost their jobs back to work is the kind of change that we expect to see’’.
A statement signed by principal Information Officer for: Director, Information press & Public Relations by Olatunji John said retrospectively speaking on the Housing sector, the Minister stated that, ‘’it presents an enormous opportunity for positively impacting the economy to promote not only growth but inclusion’’.
He further stated that ‘’Government will lead the aggressive intervention to increase supply starting with a pilot’’.
Fashola, however, noted that where the nation is standing today, despite little resources to work with, is a clear evidence of qualitative progress in the
In relation to public works, the Minister stated that the dogged determination of the present Administration to deliver on critical infrastructure has brought about expansive spending on Federal road projects across the nation. He stressed that this development saw the budget of the works sector growing from N18.132b in 2015 to N394B in 2018.
“The outcome of these massive spending and investment on infrastructure has not left any state in Nigeria today without a Federal Government visible road project(s) with thousand of construction workers, who were formerly laid-off now being fully engaged.”
Fashola stated that the Ministry’s intervention on roads does not stop on interstate highways alone. It has also affected 14 Federal Universities, where failed internal roads are now receiving proper attention.
According to the Minister, the present government also took a giant stride by creating a Presidential Infrastructural Development Fund to address critical economic projects across the country. Projects such as the 2nd Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the Mambilla hydro – power project and many more are expected to benefit from the Fund.
Speaking on the housing sector, the Minister stated that the pilot National Housing Programme, second in the history of the nation, has led to a nationwide housing construction currently at various stages of completion in 34 States where landed properties were provided.
He added that construction works at these project sites are an ecosystem of human enterprise, where artisans, vendors, suppliers and craftsmen are direct beneficiaries, as well as contributing to nation building.
The Minister opined that the Ministry is also tackling the backlog of issuance of Consent and Certificates of Occupancy on Federal Government lands.
He stated that ‘’a total of 1, 216 applications for Consent to Transfer Interest in Land and 1, 300 Certificates of Occupancy were approved and signed’’.
Fashola noted that without the team of dedicated staff, the landslide achievements and growth in these sectors would have been a mirage.
In attendance were, the Permanent Secretaries of Works and Housing, Mohammed Bukar and that of Power, Engr. Louis Edozien, Directors from the three sectors, Heads/CEOs of Parastatals.