Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has declared that his ministry has delivered visible and qualitative achievements to Nigerians since his appointment in November 2015.
Fashola said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has brought abandoned Second Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and Bodo-Bonny Bridge, among other projects, back to life.
He said the Federal Government has set up a Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund to ensure the progress of work and completion of the Second Niger Bridge as well as other capital projects in the country.
The minister made the disclosure in Abuja yesterday, while briefing newsmen and stakeholders on the “Third Year Progress Report” of his stay in office.
Fashola also said that the present administration has constructed about 497 kilometres road while 284 kilometres roads have been rehabilitated in 2018 nationwide.
He also said that government’s intervention in infrastructural development was not limited to interstate highway roads, but also in housing and the power sectors.
The minister said that the progress report on public sector works relating to roads and bridges had confirmed that the ministry had fulfilled its promise.
He said that the ministry had recovered the thousands of jobs that were lost as a result of an expansive infrastructure spending on works from N18.132 billion in 2015 to N394 billion in 2018.
“The outcome is that there is not one state in Nigeria today where the Federal Government is not executing at least one road project with construction workers engaged on the sites.
“Difficult or abandoned projects like the Second Niger Bridge, Lagos Ibadan Expressway and the Bodo-Bonny Bridge have been brought back to life.
“Sections of Ilorin-Jebba, Sokoto to Jeba, Sokoto-Ilela have been completed, while progress of work continues nationwide.
“Apart from recovered construction jobs and growth in construction sector of the economy, the feedback from road users is that the journey times are reducing on the completed roads,” he said.
He noted that the Second Niger Bridge was one of the projects at the heart of Buhari’s administration, and the several interventions have been initiated that work continues on the project site till its completion.
With regard to power, Fashola said the administration of President Buhari has improved on what it met, by increasing generation from 4,000 megawatts (MW) to 7,000 MW, transmission from 5,000 MW to 7,000 MW and distribution from 2,690 MW to 5,222 MW.
The work, he said, has not clearly finished, saying the administration is still in the process of delivering additional generation from Kaduna 215MW, Afam IV 240MW, Kashimbilla 40MW, Gurara 30MW, Dadinkowa 29MW, power for nine universities, 15 markets and two big hydro power plants of 700MW in Zungeru and 3,050MW in Mambilla.
He stated that the administration’s intervention on roads did not stop on interstate highways; it has also entered 14 federal universities where internal roads have been receiving attention.
As for housing, Fashola said that public buildings like Federal Secretariats in Zamfara, Bayelsa, Nasarawa and Ekiti were being undertaken, and that Zik Mausoleum in Onitsha has now been practically completed.
He explained that pilot National Housing Programme has led to a nationwide housing construction being undertaken in the 34 states “where we have received land”.
According to him, no less than 1,000 people were employed on each site apart from the staff of the successful contractors.
He said: “These sites are an ecosystem of human enterprise, where artisans, vendors, suppliers and craftsmen converge to partake of opportunities and contribute to nation building.
“These are some of the most vulnerable people for whom President Buhari has delivered.”