ABUJA – (Federal Ministry of Power, Works & Housing Report) – The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola has revealed the Ministry’s scorecard and achievements on infrastructure development and provision across the country in commemoration of his three years in office in a presentation tagged: “Our Three Years Score Card on Infrastructure Development – A Fulfilment of the Change Mandate.”
The statement was made while addressing the media and the general public at a press conference held in Abuja lately. He expressed the need to refresh on his inaugural statements when President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the present Federal Executive Council and the subsequent creation of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing titled: “Setting the Agenda for Delivering Change.” He added that the present government has no doubt moved the nation forward by consolidating on the mandate of change promised to Nigerians.
“I promised that with regards to power supply, we will improve on gas supply, increase transmission capacity, pay MDAs debts to the DISCOs and generally improve your experience with power supply, first by getting incremental power, then proceed to stable and hopefully reach uninterrupted supply,” the Minister recalled.
“With regards to works, as at May 2015 many contractors stopped work due to lack of payment and many fathers and wives employed by them were 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. Retrospectively speaking on the housing sector, it presents an enormous opportunity for positively impacting the economy to promote not only growth, but inclusion.”
He further stated that the Government will lead the aggressive intervention to increase supply starting with a pilot, noting that where the nation is standing today, despite little resources to work with is a clear evidence of qualitative progress in the delivery of infrastructure across Nigeria. He inferred that this is a remarkable departure from past Administrations.
Speaking further, the Minister disclosed that power generation has increased from 4,000 MW to 7,000 MW; transmission from 5,000 MW to 7,000 MW and distribution from 2,690 MW to 5, 222 MW. He also informed that the consistent progress recorded in the power sector from 2015 till date is a clear departure from what obtained before and proof of change.
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. According to him, 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 and with the thousands of construction workers, who were formerly laid-off now being fully engaged.
Raji Fashola indicated that the Ministry’s intervention on roads does not stop on interstate highways alone as it has also affected 14 Federal Universities where failed internal roads are now receiving proper attention. He averred that the present government also took a giant stride by creating a Presidential Infrastructural Development Fund to address critical economic projects across the country. Adding, 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.
While commenting on the housing sector, the Minister hinted that the pilot National Housing Programme which is second in the history of the nation has led to a nationwide housing construction currently at various stages of completion in 34 States of the federation, where landed properties were provided. He later espoused 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 contributors to nation building.
The Works and Housing Boss opined that the Ministry is also tackling the backlog of issuance of Consent and Certificates of Occupancy on Federal Government lands, explaining that a total of 1, 216 applications for Consent to Transfer Interest in land and 1, 300 Certificates of Occupancy were approved and signed. He emphasized that without the team of dedicated staff, the landslide achievements and growth in these sectors would have been a mirage.
In attendance at the briefing were the Permanent Secretaries for Works and Housing, Mohammed Bukar and that of Power, Louis Edozien (Engr) as well as Directors from the three sectors and the Heads/CEOs of parastatals.