ABUJA (PWH Ministry’ Report)- The Senate Committee on lands, housing and urban development paid an oversight visit to the Ministry’s Headquarters in Abuja to appraise the level of implementation of the 2016 budgetary provision to the Ministry. This is however the first time the Committee is visiting the Ministry to carry out its constitutional responsibilities of oversight of the Ministry operations of year 2016.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, who was represented by the Minister of State, Suleiman Hassan Zarma, received and welcomed the Senate Committee to the Ministry.
Suleiman expressed pleasure of the Ministry to have the Chairman, Senator Banabas Gemade and other members of the committee on the oversight visit and solicited for their cooperation to guide and correct appropriately where necessary, so that the Nigerian electorates will enjoy the divided of democracy under the present administration.
He enjoined the upper and lower chambers of the National Assembly to work in synergy on the implementation of Special intervention of Constituency Projects in their various localities.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on lands, housing and urban development of the 8th Assembly, Senator Barnabas Gemade, thanked the Ministry for the warmth reception given to them. He stated that the principle of separation of powers in a constitutional democracy requires that law makers carry out this oversight function regularly on the Executive Branch of the Government.
The chairman added that this vital function of the Parliament with the cooperation of the Executive arm of government will no doubt boost development and good governance in the country.
According to him, “our nation is in dire need of improved level of housing delivery to our people as the need remains enormous. We are keenly looking at how you are implementing new policies in enhancing this’’.
Gemade also said that the Committee have paid similar visits to Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and Federal Housing Authority (FHA) as Agencies under the supervision of the Ministry and solicited for a need for higher support to boost their operations in order to achieve their mandates.
The Permanent Secretary (Works & Housing), Mohammed Bukar informed the Senate Committee that presentation of the 2016 budget implementation reports are segmented into seven parts and are to be presented by directors and heads of the various units as follows: 2016 Budget Performance by the Director (Finance & Accounts), National Housing Programme by Director (Public Building), Provision of Infrastructure to the National Housing Programme by Director (Construction).
Others are Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in Housing Development by Head (PPP Unit), Lands under the Ministry’s Sites and Services Programme and the List of Titles issued by the Ministry Nationwide by Director (Lands & Housing) and Status of the Implementation of Special Projects by Head (Special Projects Units).
In his presentation, the Director, Finance and Accounts, Ibrahim Tumsal informed the Senate Committee that only 43.7 per cent of budget implementation was recorded in 2016 based on funds released to the Housing sector of the Ministry.
The Committee members took time to ask questions and clarifications on some grey areas of the budget implementations and necessary recommendations were made by the law makers for further improvement in subsequent budgetary provisions.