…says govt engaged 79,378 persons while constructing roads
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has revealed that in relations to the construction and rehabilitation of roads and bridges, Federal Government recovered the thousands of jobs that were lost to public works.
He said the recovery is the result of an expansive infrastructure spending that saw works budget grow from N18.132b in 2015 to N394b in 2018, while addressing a gathering of Journalists on his “Third Year Progress Report”, in Abuja.
Fashola said, “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”, adding that even difficult or abandoned projects like the 2nd Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Bodo-Bonny Bridge have been brought back to life.
He noted that sections of Ilorin-Jebba, Sokoto to Jega, Sokoto-Ilela have been completed, “while progress of works continues 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 to mention a few”.
Fashola said apart from recovered construction jobs and growth in the sector of the economy, the feedback from road users has shown that the journey times were reducing on the completed roads.
And supporting the assertions of the Minister, the Director Highways Planning and Development, Engineer Chukwunwike Uzo, said a total of 1262 roads were constructed and 885 roads were rehabilitated between 2016 and November 2018 while 79,378 persons were employed.
A breakdown of the figure showed that while 277 roads were constructed and 345 rehabilitated with 17,749 people employed in 2016, in 2017, 468 roads were constructed and 256 rehabilitated with 31,227 people employed in the process, while 497 roads were constructed and 284 rehabilitated while 30,402 people got employed
According to the Director, who made a contribution during the Question and Answer session, a total of N907, 628.118, 217 was budgeted for Works between 2016 and 2018 while a total of N499, 609,297,524 were disbursed to contractors during the period.
In Housing, the Minister said public buildings like the Federal Secretariats in Zamfara, Bayelsa, Nasarawa and Ekiti and the Zik Mausoleum in Onitsha had now been practically completed, pointing out that the pilot National Housing Programme, NHP has led to a nationwide Housing Construction being undertaken in the 34 states where government had received land.
“No less than 1,000 people are employed on each site apart from the staff of the successful contractors”, he said.
According to the Minister, the Ministry is also tackling the backlog of issuance of consent and Certificates of Occupancy to Federal Government land” adding that a total of 1,216 Applications for Consent to transfer interests in Land application and 1,300 Certificates of Occupancy have been approved and signed respectively as at 25th October.