We are concentrating on completing projects to deliver value to Nigerians – Fashola

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The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola on Friday said that the Buhari administration was focusing on completing road,  power and housing projects to deliver value to Nigerians.

Fashola during an interactive session with 10 social clubs to give account of achievements of the Buhari administration at Lagos City Hall, said that due to completion of some road projects, the construction economy had bounced back and  promoting growth of businesses.

He said that previous governments had reports of uncompleted projects and stressed that, uncompleted infrastructure could not be used and would not deliver values to Nigerians.

He said that people voted for change and there was no need repeating the old system that did not deliver real value to citizens of the nation.

He explained that in the 2015 budget, N19 billion was earmarked for road projects out of which only nine billion naira was released leaving a huge deficient that made several contractors to abandon site.

Fashola said that the trend coupled with huge debts owed contractors affected businesses which in turn impacted the economy negatively.

“And because of dwindling oil revenue, we had to do more with less money,’’ he said.

He said the government decided to prioritize the roads for repair based on six main categories, which included roads that carried heaviest vehicles, those that led to the ports, roads critical to agriculture, ones that required counterpart funding and the Sukuk bonds.

“There is no state where we are not constructing one road or the other,“ he said.

On housing delivery, the minister said the Buhari regime was also completing housing projects started by previous administrations.

“Is it a crime to govern sensibly to reduce waste?“ he queried.

He said that only completed projects were useful to citizens of the nation and urged Nigerians to speak up in favour of the good gesture to complete projects.

He said that pilot schemes were still on-going for new housing projects as there were no empirical evidence of what kind of homes people could afford or their taste preferences.

The minister said that apart from the Shehu Shagari administration, this was the second time the Federal Government was embarking on mass housing initiatives across the country.

He said that there was need to get the product formulation, packaging and delivery right, adding that, there were several unoccupied buildings across the country either because they were not affordable or did not meet the taste of consumers.

“If you don’t sample correctly, the product would fail. When we say we are planning, people think we are joking,’’ the minister said.

He said that the government through the Federal Mortgage Bank was removing impediments to access to loans and was at the same time expanding the scope to capture more beneficiaries.

Speaking on Power, he said that power generation and distribution had improved because government was able to resolve some complex issues that came with the privatisation of power by previous government.

He said that the various power plants across the country were being upgraded to deliver at more optimal capacity, adding that, the problems of estimated billing would be resolved with time.

“Clearly, it is getting better, let us honestly admit,’’ he said. (NAN)

Biola Lawal

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