By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Minster of Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola, has called on participants at the National Policy on Development, (N-PoD), to identify new ways to tackle the numerous problems responsible for road and housing infrastructure gap in the Country.
The Minister who was represented by the Minister of State for Works and Housing Engr. Abubakar Aliyu made this call while delivering the key note address at the second edition of the National Policy on Development summit in Abuja recently.
Fashola disclosed that as part of efforts to bridge the infrastructure gap the Ministry of Works and Housing had intervened in the construction of internal roads in 44 tertiary institutions.
He added that the intervention forms part of the over 500 roads and bridge projects currently being undertaken by the Ministry.
On the housing deficit in Nigeria, the Minister said, “The Ministry is concerned about mitigating the deficit and ensuring that Nigerians wherever they reside have access to affordable, conducive and hygienic housing.”
A statement signed by Boade Akinola Director Information said ,he further said “The National Housing Programm is ongoing across the country with over 2,500 units completed in 34 States of the Federation.”
Fashola further revealed that the Federal Mortgage Bank and the Federal Housing Authority were increasing the housing stock to Nigerians through several programmes such as rent to own,mortgage finance ownership and so on.
Similarly,the Minster of the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammed Bello, represented by Professor M.T Usman praised the organisers of the summit for bringing together stakeholders to brainstorm and galvanise ideas on how best to move the nation forward.
He described the theme of the summit “Actualizing The Next Level Agenda, Strategies, Prospects And Anticipated Challenges” as apt saying that the FCT administration was working hard to ensure that Nigerians felt the impact of good governance.
On his part, the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba stressed the need for the National Orientation Agency to work assiduously to encourage Nigerians to patronise made in Nigerian products.
He said otherwise Nigerian oil will continue to create jobs and wealth for other nations because of the preference for foreign goods over made in Nigeria goods by Nigerians.
The Minister also decried the attitude of Nigerians to work as some Nigerians consider certain jobs degrading even as income from such jobs could meet their needs.
He said, “The only way we can take people out of poverty is if we can change them from mere population to working force.” He argued that Nigeria is blessed with everything that other developed nations have and would rise to greater height if the citizens change their attitude.
The Summit was declared open by President Muhammadu Buhari who was represented by the Permanent Secretary at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Andrew David Adejoh.