*…Emphasizes maintenance of infrastructure as critical job creation and sustenance strategy*
*..Bauchi State Government acknowledges President Buhari’s infrastructure development strides*
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN has charged participants at the 27th Meeting of the National Council on Works in Bauchi, Bauchi State to activate the infrastructure maintenance economy in their respective states in order to create wealth and sustain long term jobs for citizens.
Addressing Council Members at the 27th Meeting of the National Council on Works the Minister said since the implementation of the Marshall plan in 1948, after the Second World War, it has become clear to any serious minded economist or politician that infrastructure provision is critical to development, growth, wealth creation, employment and prosperity.
Speaking on the theme of the 27th Meeting of the National Council on Works: “Infrastructure Delivery, Maintenance Economy and National Prosperity”, he said: “I hope it would help all of us focus on, not just the importance of the investment in infrastructure, but more importantly on the maintenance of infrastructure, the economy around maintenance and sustainable and long lasting jobs that are created through maintenance.”
According to Fashola, the heart of the matter and the message participants should all take home from the Meeting of the 27th Meeting of the National Council on Works is on what should be done in addition to building infrastructure, in order to keep the jobs on. “The answer, Ladies and Gentlemen is simple. We must maintain the infrastructure we build,” he charged all and sundry.
Speaking on maintenance economy, he said: “This is important for many reasons, the first of which is that it preserves the life of the infrastructure and get the best value for the money we spent on it.”
He explained further that maintenance economy is a critical contributor and driver of GDP in many economies around the world.
He said: “You will notice that I have spoken about a “maintenance economy” not a “maintenance culture.” This is because maintenance is not a cultural thing, it is an existential matter of survival, bread and butter and income.”
“Available data shows that in the “built industry” only about 30% of the manpower is employable by design and construction which lasts until the project is completed; while the remaining 70% are employed in the process of “operation” and “maintenance” of the infrastructure,” he said.
Speaking on the need for investment on infrastructure, the Minister said that the nations that are richer have more infrastructure than the country and in order to bridge this gap must invest saying that “No nation or community can grow bigger than the stock of infrastructure.”
He explained: “Infrastructure also helps to make people efficient, it creates competition and leads to productivity. Currently the Federal Government is executing 895 contracts in 795 projects spanning over 13,000 km of roads and bridges nationwide.”
Delivering his opening address, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State, His Excellency, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed who was represented by the Deputy-Governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Baba Tela acknowledged the contributions of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration on infrastructure development across the country.
The Governor further said that his administration was also focused on reversing the trend of infrastructure deficit and decay that has held back the socio-economic development of the state.
He said: “As a deliberate policy, we have since assumption of office over two years ago, embarked on the provision of infrastructure that has direct bearing on the socio-economic life of our people.”
Speaking on infrastructure renaissance, he said that the state had embarked on accelerated urban renewal and rural development programme. “Within the last two years, our government has completed or about to complete over twenty-five roads covering over 200 kilometres in urban and semi urban areas across the state,” he said.
He commended the Federal Government for the support of the state urban renewal drive through the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing. “We are particularly appreciative of President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval for the expansion of dual carriage ways of two major Federal Highways that lead into Bauchi metropolis.
In his remarks the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Babangida Hussaini thanked all Council members
for attending the Council meeting and urged them to go back and implement all Council resolutions.
In attendance at the 27th Meeting of the National Council on Works were the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, the Deputy Governor of Bauchi State, representative of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Commissioners of Works across the states of the country,the Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, the Permanent Secretaries of Ministry of Works from the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, captains in the built industry and other critical stakeholders in the works sector of the economy.
After the Council Meeting, the Honourable Minister inspected the expansion of the Bauchi-Ningi dual carriage way and the Phase 1 of the 2016 National Housing Programme in Bauchi.
On the National Housing Programme, the Minister said that the one, two and three bedroom semi-detached bungalows are meant for all and that subscription to it would be done online through a dedicated portal to ensure transparency and avoid undue human interference.
*Director (Press and Public Relations)*
*September 23, 2021*
Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, (Center), Governor of Bauchi State, represented by the Deputy Governor, His Excellency, Alh. Baba Tela (Right) and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Mr. Babangida Hussaini at the 27th Meeting of the National Council on Works Held in Bauchi, Bauchi State, Thursday 23rd September, 2021.