Fatimat Haliru —
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has said that no fewer than 383,431 jobs have been created in the Works and Housing sector from all the projects carried-out by the ministry between 2016 and 2022.
The Minister disclosed this when he presented his scorecard, themed: ‘Tour of Duty as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria : A Time and Economic Resource Report (2015-2023)” Time, in Abuja, last Monday.
He revealed that the Ministry’s scorecard and achievements on infrastructure development and provision across the country in commemoration of his eight years in office.
Fashola said eight years spent as Minister under the Buhari-led administration, was targeted at improving living conditions of Nigerians, and drastic reduction of multidimensional poverty.
Fashola, while scoring himself high on project delivery, noted that his strides in the ministry were hugely influenced by the ideologies of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
According to him, this government is formed by a political party. That is what the constitution says and contrary to what people say in public that they are all the same and disagree. We profess a progressive ideology and it means something for those who will interrogate it.
“One of the concomitant effects is actually like government spending, as we have saved in this ministry. So, that’s a difference and I want us to focus on that.
“The definition I have formed as a progressive is one that is aimed at improving the human condition and some of the things we will speak to here, I will ask you to bear in mind. Things like does it improve the human condition?
“The other thing is that we’re dealing with challenges, one of which, of course, those who like numbers, and those who like hyperbole will say Oh, yes, thousands and Millions of Nigerians are living in multidimensional poverty.
They fail to see actions at Local, State and Federal Government level that are targeted at resolving these issues. I will speak to some of those issues and I will ask you to test and see whether or not this responds to multidimensional poverty”, he added.
Earlier, we reported that Fashola said that upon his appointment in 2019 and part of his target to improve human lives by venturing into construction of long-neglected capital projects, inherited from previous administrations, including several new mega projects that were.
Specifically, he said the second Niger bridge, which, according to him, has stayed untouched for about three decades under the watch of different administrations, formed one of his major successes.
Also, Fashola said the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, though originally completed in 1978, but with the population boom and a lack of commensurate expansion meant for the road, gained priority in his time.
“Some of those things that seem to have defied solutions were the things that Buhari inherited and that was where I chose to start. The second Niger bridge that has been in the purview for at least three decades and has become a political slogan. And when you look at that, the river crosses about two kilometers, taking 18 hours as against 22 minutes.
“The Lagos-Ibadan expressway that has outgrown its capacity, many more institutions, outlets have developed around and beyond what was originally conceived and the need to expand it and give it more current capacity. Before the Bonny bridge a major asset because that is where gas resources are most prolific, but there’s no road to it. That project was awarded three times and failed. It is now nearing completion.
“The Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Road is made up of 3 sections namely Abuja-Kaduna (completed in 1996), Kaduna-Zaria (completed in 1991) and Zaria – Kano (completed in 1991). Over the years only minor repairs were carried out until reconstruction work commenced in 2018 with funding sustained through one of the initiatives of the Buhari administration – the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund.”
Fashola also hinted that so far, from all the projects carried-out, the ministry has been able to generate about 383,431 jobs in both works and housing.
He said despite the challenge of a budget as low as 18 billion allocated to the ministry, but under his watch, the ministry was able to generate over 13 billion naira from 2015 to 2023.
He also stated that over 6000 Certificate of Ownership, C-of-O, was issued, adding that a total of 826 programmes and projects were carried-out in the power sector.
He added that in 2019 – 2022, about 9,290 kilometers of road was constructed, and about 2,270,319 lenear meter of lane was marked, including about 254,690 installed road signs.
Among other things, on housing, Fashola said about 2,870 housing units have been successfully delivered in the 35 states and Federal Capital Territory, FCT, adding that housing projects that have been undertaken but are yet to be completed are 6,068.