The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Monday while delivering the third year progress report speech at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in Abuja, said that the current government has delivered visible results and recorded progress across different sectors of the nation.
According to the former Lagos State Governor, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) government has delivered results in housing, road construction and electricity provision.
Regarding power, Fashola said that his team has improved on what was met on ground in 2015 from 4000MW to 7000MW, transmission from 5000MW to 7000MW and distribution from 2690MW to 5222MW.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of my colleagues, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri and Surveyor Suleiman Hassan Zarma, the Honourable Ministers of State who manage this ministry with me, the Permanent Secretaries; Mohammed Bukar for Works and Housing; Louis Edozien, for Power, the Directors and all the staff of the ministry, the heads of our various parastatals and their staff, I am proud and happy to report that we have walked our talk, and we have delivered visible results and recorded qualitative progress,” he said.
“Although there are still people we have not reached, although there are still disruptions from time to time, and although there are still people who also need meters, and we are working to reach them, it is indisputable that we have delivered on incremental power.
“The evidence of our progress is not only captured in the last quarter of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Report for Q2 of 2018 which shows a growth of 7.5% in the electricity sector, previous quarterly reports from 2017, have consistently recorded growth, a clear departure from 2014-2015 and proof of change.
“As I promised you in my inaugural address, it will not just be electricity by numbers, it will be borne out by personal experiences. The report of our survey and feedback mechanism confirm that many of you now have public power for longer hours compared to 2015, and you now run generators for shorter periods compared to 2015 and you now spend less money on diesel to power your generators.
“As some Citizens recently reported, they no longer have to iron all their clothes one week in advance as they previously used to do, because the supply is proving reliable and predictable even if not yet fully Stable and uninterrupted. This is progress that we must move forward by consolidating on our mandate of change. We cannot go back. As our policies on Mini Grids, Meter Asset Provider, Eligible Customer, and liquidity sustenance and improved governance deepens, your experience with power supply can only get better.”
Regarding construction of roads and bridges, he said that reports shows that he and his team have fulfilled their promise.
“We have recovered the thousands of jobs that were lost to public works,” he said, adding that the recovery is the result of an expansive infrastructure spending that saw works budget grow from N18.132b in 2015 to N394b 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 and construction workers are engaged on these sites”.
“Difficult or abandoned projects like the 2nd Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Bodo-Bonny Bridge have been brought back to life.”
He further added that sections of Ilorin-Jebba, Sokoto to Jega, Sokoto-Ilela have been completed. He noted also that work is in progress nationwide from Jada to Mayo Belwa, Enugu to Port Harcourt, Lagos to Otta, Ikorodu to Shagamu, Benin to Okene, Lokoja to Abuja, Kano to Maiduguri, Abuja – Kaduna, Kano, among others.
“We acknowledge that the work is not finished, but as long as we remain able to finance the projects, I have no doubt that it will get better,” the Minister said.
Fashola also stated that road construction also entered 14 higher institutions which includes; University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Federal University Oye, Ekiti; University of Benin; Federal University, Lafia; and Fed. University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State. Others are Bayero University Kano; Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO); University of Maiduguri; Federal University, Lokoja; Federal Polytechnic Bauchi; Federal University, Gashua; Kaduna Polytechnic; Federal College of Education Katsina; University College Ibadan.
“It is important to highlight this intervention and the 9 (Nine) Indepedent Power projects in Federal Universities as an investment in Education for the benefit of those who seek more funding for education,” he said.
“As we build roads, we are also attending to old or damaged bridges and restoring the value of maintenance.
“So, while the Loko -Oweto Bridge is nearing completion, the damaged Tatabu Bridge linking Ilorin and Jebba has been reconstructed and the Tamburawa Bridge in Kano, the Isaac Boro Bridge in Rivers, Eko Bridge in Lagos and the Old Niger Bridge that links Anambra and Delta are receiving regular maintenance attention.”
Regarding housing, Mr. Fashola said that his ministry has worked on public buildings like the Federal Secretariats in Zamfara State, Bayelsa, Nasarawa and Ekiti where public works are ongoing.
He also listed the Zik Mausoleum in Onitsha which was reportedly completed last week.
He further added that his ministry piloted a National Housing Programme which has led to a nationwide Housing Construction ongoing in 34 states.
“No less than 1,000 people are 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,” he added.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we came to this job in November 2015 with a mountain to climb,” Mr. Fashola said.
“With careful thinking, planning, and a dedicated team of public officers, we have a firm foothold on our way to the top. Our policies have shown what is possible with critical sectors recording growth,” he claimed.
“What remains is time that it takes for the full harvest of the fruits of our policies in plenitude and prosperity of our people. We cannot go back to the bottom of the mountain when the plateau is now within reach,” the minister stated.