• Insists Buhari govt led most radical infrastructure expansion ever
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) yesterday gave an account of his headship of the ministry, maintaining that the Muhammadu Buhari administration has led arguably the most radical and audacious infrastructural expansion ever experienced in Nigeria.
Fashola stated that 383,431 jobs were created from 2016 to 2022 through the infrastructural renewal of the government, with the generation of employment made through 2.2 million linear metres of road markings, construction of 9,290.34 kilometres of roads and installation of 254,690 road signs.
According to Fashola, between 2019 and 2023, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved a total of 155 projects in the works ministry and 13 in housing, noting that between 2015 to 2019 when he was power minister, 826 projects were approved for the ministry.
Between 2016 and 2022, Fashola who spoke in Abuja, stated that 3.1 million tonnes of cement were used for various road projects, 1.29 billion litres of diesel were expended while 71.6 million litres of petrol were used in the process.
[5/9, 04:49] Mummy Favour: Besides, Fashola pegged the quantity of bitumen deployed between 2016 and 2022 at 4.45 million tonnes, stressing that 27.4 million tonnes of fine aggregate was used while infrastructure gulped 55.5 million tonnes of coarse aggregate. In addition, he stated that 645,024 of reinforcement was used during the period.
In the works sector, the minister further disclosed that between Q1-Q3 in 2021 and 2022 alone, 277.3 million tonnes of diesel was used, with the deployment of 571,203 truck trips and 131,529 tonnes of reinforcement amounting to 2,226 truck trips.
Furthermore, bitumen used in works was 255,197 tonnes, according to the minister, with laterite being 14.3 million tonnes while 2.3 million tonnes of sand was used, all costing N248 billion while 1,481 major suppliers and subcontractors provided the materials.
For bridges alone, he said that 30,075 length of guard rails were supplied between 2021 and March 2023; plus 896 tendons; 1,222 bearings ; 2,559 meters of expansion joints and 34 million litres of diesel; 3,705 tonnes of bitumen 551,332 CBM of laterite, among others. He added that the supply of the materials by 278 subcontractors for the purpose cost the government N161 billion.
For maintenance and facility maintenance, the minister stated that 1,374 quantity of aluminium was purchased, with 4,652 drums of paints, 210 tonnes of reinforcement, 26,273 sqm of tiles , 1,668 metal doors were deployed, while 3,656 of granite chips as well as 62,720 were used for the purpose.
Aluminium roofing sheet amounting to 15,443 sqm was bought while 4,250 tonnes of cement was utilised. In the same vein, major suppliers were paid N767 million for the purpose.
According to the minister, for its National Housing Programme, work is ongoing in 46 sites, with 6,068 housing units the states and 2,870 units in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Direct jobs created in the process were 29,560, while 67,978 indirect jobs were established with the involvement of 1,262 building contractors in the housing programme.
In all, the minister disclosed that 6,685 Certificates of Occupancy were signed between 2015 and March 2023 while 3,043 number of consents were granted. Fashola also said that N13 billion was generated as revenue between 2015 and March 2023 by the ministry.
Fashola stated that in the course of his stewardship, 91 visits were made to the National Assembly.
Fashola said that upon his reappointment in 2019 to the Ministry of Works and Housing, he has had the mandate of executing the most radical, audacious end arguably the biggest infrastructural expansion ever experienced in Nigeria.
This, he said , included the revival of long-neglected capital projects, inherited from previous administrations and several new mega projects that were initiated and are at various stages of completion.
He listed the Second Niger Bridge, linking two very economically important states, Anambra and Delta, and connecting the East and Western zones of Nigeria which hitherto had seemed like a mirage, as one of his biggest achievements.
In addition, he stated that the Lagos-lbadan expressway, though originally completed in 1978, a population boom and a lack of commensurate expansion meant that the road was no longer able to accommodate its growing users.
The rehabilitation, reconstruction and expansion of the critical project, he stressed, has now been given the priority it demands after years of unhelpful stalemate.
Besides , the minister said the Bodo-Bonny Bridge, a major flagship project in Rivers State, had been conceived since 1970s but several attempts to initiate construction, tottered until 2015 and further progressed from 2019 with over 7,000 direct and indirect jobs already gone into ensuring a handover of the bridge and ancillary roads by 2023.
The Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Road, he stressed, made up of three sections namely Abuja-Kaduna (completed in 1996), Kaduna-Zaria (completed in 1991} and Zaria – Kano (completed in 1991) was also taken up by the Buhari administration.
Over the years, he stated that 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 (PIDF).
To this end, he noted that the progressive legacies of the Buhari-led administration were becoming real in infrastructure development and human capital development.
“Consequently, with the approach of the final leg of the administration a number of projects are being completed, nearing completion or are being commissioned in different parts of the country.
According to him, the Time and Resource Report was aimed at dimensioning the economic and human capital development dividends to the Nigerian nation from Ministry of Works and Housing and in part accounting for his public service career.
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