The Member countries of the TLC are; Niger, Mali , Algeria Chad ,Tunisia and Nigeria.
Nigeria's Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola,SAN who conducted his colleagues round the project sites said “ it is the tradition of the committee that the host country should take other members on inspection of the road projects under its territory in order to see level of progress and compliance on the routes.
Fashola explained that Nigeria accounts for over 1000 kilometets length out of the over 9000 kilometers roads in the six sub-saharan countries.
He further explained that in compliance with the local content executive order, Nigerian companies are given preference over foreign companies in the award of the contracts.
Accordingly the Minister also stated that there were nine highways at different levels of construction that would connect Nigeria with the rest of Africa along the Trans-Sahara routes, pointing out that the ultimate aim was to transform those roads to highways of vehicles and trucks to link them to the ports for ease of doing business.
The Minister listed Lagos - Algiers as one of such routes that would connect Nigeria with other parts of Africa, saying that the route cuts across Lagos-Ibadan, Oyo , Ogbomosho, Ilorin, Jebba , Mokwa, Kaduna and Kano leading to the Niger Republic.
The team inspected the rehabilitation works of Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano dual carriageway which is being handled by Julius Berger Nig Ltd, the 5.4Km Abuja –Keffi expressway and dualisation of Keffi-Akwanga -Lafia-Makurdi road being handled by China Harbour Engineering Company Limited.
The delegation from the member countries on the inspection commended Nigerian Government for the local content policy in the construction industry, hoping that such could be replicated in other member countries.Read More
Honourable Minister of Works and Housing,Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, has disclosed that the reconstruction of the major highways that link Nigeria's borders with the six member states of the Trans Sahara Road namely: Chad, Niger, Tunisia, Mali and Algeria is 80% asphalted.
Fashola made the disclosure at the opening ceremony of the 70th session and meeting of the Trans Sahara Road Liaison Committee (TRLC) which Nigeria is hosting in Abuja.
The ministers in charge of roads in the six countries are taking part at the meeting.
The objective of the meeting of the TRLC member countries was to discuss and share knowledge on how to improve African connectivity, integration and trade.
Fashola noted that the over 9000 kms Trans Sahara Road Which serves about 37 regions in Africa and connects about 74 urban cities and 60 million people across six countries if completed would create immense opportunities in Agriculture, information technology and the fashion industry among others, adding that most of the roads that were plied by horses and carmels are presently motorable.
According to the Minister, “Now if you appreciate that these roads, roads of horses and camels are now the roads of vehicles and trucks, you can imagine the opportunities that lie ahead as we converge here.”
He further noted that Nigeria is part of the large urban network of opportunity as the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Trans Sahara Road would intensify cultural and economic exchange of goods and services across the African region.
Accordingly, the Minister also stated that the reconstruction of these major roads are due to their busy nature, adding that heavy duty trucks of about 5000 in number ply these roads on a regular basis.
He listed some roads in the trans sharan route such as: the Abuja- Kaduna- Kano , Lagos - Ibadan-Ilorin-Jebba among others which are at different stages of completion.
In an address by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari delivered by his representative, the Minister of Police Affairs Alhaji Mohammed Dingyadi,the Mr.President reiterated the committment of his administration to introduce change in Nigeria geared towards a sustainable and quality infrastructure development to drive economic development and job creation.
He explained that provision of road infrastructure was meant to increase Nigeria’s trunks of roads to ease the cost and time of doing business and improve economic competiveness in Nigeria's Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP).
The President, however, maintained that his administration “shares the vision of the Trans Sahara Road Liaison Committee to develop the section of the Trans Sahara road within their respective territories.”
The President also charged the delegates attending the meeting to remain committed to the prompt delivery of the crucial development of road transport infrastructure for the benefit of the people in member states.
In his address, the Secretary General of the Trans Sahara Road Liaison Committee, Mr. Ayadi Mohammed, commended President Muhammadu Buhari, the Honourable Minister for Works and Housing Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN ,the Honourable Minister of State for Works and Housing, Engineer Abubakar Aliyu and the management and staff of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing for their hospitality and reception given to the delegates.
He added that the member countries of the Trans Sahara and Committee have the task to build excellent relationship that would stimulate trade in the region.Read More
Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, has called for a collective reflection, stocktaking and strengthening partnerships, to accelerate action in the pursuit for sustainable urban development in Nigeria.
Fashola made the call in his keynote address at the commemoration of the 2019 World Habitat Day and World Cities Day yesterday in Abuja.
The 2019 Urban October has the themes:“Frontier technologies as an innovative tool to transform waste to wealth” and “Changing the World: Innovations and a Better Life for Future Generations “
The Minister of State for Works and Housing, Engr. Abubakar D.Aliyu, read the keynote address on behalf of Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola,SAN, the Minister of Works and Housing.
Fashola said we all have the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and build the type of cities we desire for our good health and well-being, and for that of our future generation.
Fashola disclosed that in partnership with UN Habitat the Federal Government had embarked on the review of the National Urban Development Policy as well as implementing urban renewal and slum upgrading programmes in several urban communities across the country.
With a view to creating smart and sustainable cities across the nation, the minister maintained that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has not relented in its commitment to making sure that Nigerians have a better life by addressing the housing and infrastructure challenges and those posed by unplanned cities which led to increased slums and shanties.
He listed the various programmes already embarked upon by the Government through his ministry, which include: the on-going National Housing Programme, the launch of the National Maintenance Framework for Public Building as well as the review of the Urban Development Policy.
In his welcome address the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mohammed Bukar, said the celebration of the World Cities Day around the world was to enable us view cities as drivers and incubators of innovations, industries, technology, entrepreneurship and creativity in ground breaking ways to achieve lasting impacts on the communities, and to ensure that "No one and no place is left behind as we build the future we want."
In her goodwill message, the Executive Director, UN HABITAT, Mrs. Maimunah Moh Sharif, called on stakeholders to identify ways to overcome challenges confronting urbanisation in a way that everyone’s life could be improved.
She noted that cities are the best place of innovation and creativity, assuring that UN Habitat would be ready to fully support the Federal Government in her bid to create sustainable urbanization.
The Chairman Senate committee on Housing, Senator Sam Egwu represented by his Vice, Senator Oyelola Isa Ashiru pledged the Committee’s full support towards achieving a sustainable development of our cities.
The highlights of the event were:the Honourable Minister’s inspection of the exhibition stands and presentation of gifts to students of Witty Might Academy, Holy Child Educational Homes and Fine Trust Academy for song rendition, poem and drama presentation at the 2019 Urban October celebrations.Read More
The Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Works haveunanimously agreed to give the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing the necessary support to ensure thaton-going road projects in the country are expeditiously constructed and rehabilitated.
The assurance was given yesterday during the 2020 Budget Defence of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing at the National Assembly, Abuja.
While answering questions on issues of the deplorable condition of roads in the country and the delay to commence repairs, the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing,Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN maintained that the rainy season was not the ideal period for road construction and repairs due to the attendant problem of flood .Fashola stressed that very soon Nigerians wouldwittiness a turnaround in road repairs as his Ministry would swing into action.
The Minister, however, maintained that inadequate fundingwas the majorchallenge hindering his Ministry from realizing its mandate and set goals. He further added that while the number of roads that needed to be repaired kept increasing on daily basis, the fund to fix them was grossly inadequate and at times notavailable.
The Minister revealed that his Ministry was usually saddled with the problem of land compensation from communities, individuals and various tribes who make exorbitant claims for compensation from the Federal Government. He therefore called on the legislators and the State Governors to help his Ministry out in this regard.
Fashola suggested prioritization of the major roads for completion and rehabilitation. According to him, priority in the construction and rehabilitation of roads should be given to the major highways that connect various state capitals, the sea ports, air ports, thefuel deportsamong others.
He implored that the repairs of these critical major roads should be staggered and evenly spread across the six geo-political zones across the country so that no zone, individual or group of persons will complain of neglect or marginalization.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Works, Senator Adamu Aleiro suggested Public Private Partnership Financing Strategy to fix the Nigeria’s roads. The Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee, Engr. Abubakar Karbiru Abubakar Bichi reiterated the support of the members to collaborate with the Ministry to address the challenges of roads in Nigeria.
The Minister of State for Works and Housing, Engr. Abubakar D. Aliyu, the Permanent Secretary, Mohammed Bukar and directors of the Ministry were at the 2020 Budget Defence.Read More
The Federal Government plans to initiate a National Cooperative Housing Scheme in the country as a provision to bring the informal Sector into the nation’s Housing Programme, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, has said in Abuja.
Fashola, who spoke at the unveiling of Karmod Nigeria Limited’s Pre-Fabricated Assembly and Installation Building facility in Abuja, said the objective was to use cooperatives as a driving force in the country’s Housing programme adding that their success in markets, in transportation and Agriculture, among other areas of the economy would be an incentive to achieve success in the sector.
The Minister, who said the government would also leverage on the successes and numerical strength of the cooperatives manifested in the many unions and associations they have in every state of the country, added that they would be mobilized under the aegis of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria to obtain loans to develop their own houses according to their tastes and preferences.
Cooperatives which would be eligible to participate in the scheme, the Minister said, would be those “who are properly registered, who have their trustees and leaderships to act for them, who have their own lands and who convey an approval of the type of house they want so that they won’t be stranded”.
“We will tell them to get a planned approval for land in which ever state so that it won’t become a slum. We will work with that state’s government to ensure that access roads are built; we will give them development loans to give Real Estate developers so that you build for yourself and contribute the counterpart fund to finish. In this way we will achieve the scheme”, he said.
Fashola said the Next Level Agenda of the present administration encompasses policies and programmes that are people oriented and are meant to consolidate and sustain the achievements made in the last four years in all sectors of the economy adding that policies like the Eligible Customer and the Off-Grid initiative have enabled private businesses to source their own power either directly from generation companies or independent of the national grid as done by Messrs Karmod Nigeria Limited.
“If you follow the trajectory of government plans, Housing and Consumer Credit, this is one of the major objectives of this government in its Next Level Agenda; Agro development, food production, processing, manufacturing and transport infrastructure – Roads, Rail, Airports and Seaports, Education and Healthcare. These are the major focal areas of this government”, the Minister said.
He commended the Chairman of the Company, Mr. Hakeem Shagaya, for investing in Housing saying in so far as it seeks to boost housing development in the country, the investment “sits appropriately within the focal area of the government which is Housing and Consumer Credit”.
“In the past, government has made policies that support direct access for small , medium and large agencies to take their own power directly from generating companies under the policy of Eligible Customer”, he said adding that the decision by the company to adopt Off-Grid supply was also a major policy shift of the Buhari Administration in the last three years; “promoting direct and independent power development so that business clusters can come together, develop their own grid, share it subject to licensing by the regulator; and so also can market clusters”.
Also congratulating the Chairman of Karmod International, Mr. Mesut Cankaya from Turkey “for bringing the investment to Nigeria”, Fashola, who told him that as government, from local, state and federal government, “Nigeria is ready to do business”, assure him of government’s support, not only at the Federal level but also at the municipal level “to enable you plant your foot and expand your business”.
Describing the investment in pre-fabrication method of building houses as “an innovation into Housing development”, which, according to him, “proposes an alternative method of building houses”, Fashola said the innovation was welcome; adding , “innovation is the driver of growth; it is the driver of prosperity and we are ready to partner with you”.
The Minister, however, tasked the Chairman and his team to engage in aggressive marketing “to persuade the end users to change what has become an acquired taste” adding that this would be expedient because taste and preferences in the choice of houses differ from country to country, from community to community and even from culture to culture.
“In some countries you see people building with timber; in other places they prefer burnt brick and in some other places they have adopted container type buildings. In all of this and at the end of the day no one can successfully prescribe that this is the method of Housing that people must all adopt”, he said adding that the transformation or acceptability was often slow and informed by culture, experience and other social indices.
He recalled some places where government had suddenly tried to move people from mud houses and the project had been developed but with no consultation and preparation adding that the people chose to ignore those houses and refused to move. He told the Chief Executive, “So it is now where the product can meet the market and that will be the challenge to you and your team how to make this an acceptable method of building”.
The Minister noted, however, that with the growing population of young people who, according to him, “are ready to go and who do not require too much space to operate in”, it would not be too burdensome to find a market for the type of building, adding that the young people would more readily accept such innovation than the older generation.
“We must accept that we have a growing large population of young people. We will also accept that we cannot live the same way. Their needs have changed, they do not need too much space. Their world is reduced to their laptops. They want to get up and go”, he said adding that all of the planning in infrastructure development must take cognizance of the need of the young generation.
Fashola promised that if the company could find ready market, government was positioned to respond. He declared, “But whatever you do, if the rubber (product) meets the road (market )and you close the deal, again, apart from infrastructure, government is positioned to respond”.
“We have the Federal Mortgage Bank that is managing the Housing Fund. The director is here; and every month they disburse a substantial amount of money from contributions made by contributors to help people access housing, to help people develop estates”, he said adding that it would be in the common interest of every Nigerian to open an account with the Federal Mortgage Bank because, according to him, “once we do, we will very likely benefit from it”.
Dismissing the much touted 17 million as Nigeria’s housing deficit, Fashola, who said he had investigated all the quoted sources of that figure, including the World Bank, declared, “Where did the 17 million figure come from”, adding that according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistic survey, the actual figure of Nigeria’s households stand between 35 and 40 million households nationwide.
“Let us assume that one family lives in one house and you are saying that 17 million is the deficit; that means that more than half of Nigeria’s population is homeless. Is it a reality?”, he said adding that there was need to think through the issue and plan with the correct numbers so as to get the market right while the investment would also be sustainable and could deliver from the profit returns.
Maintaining that the 17 million housing deficit was unfounded, Fashola disclosed that the Ministry of Works and Housing has set up a team, and is hiring research companies to go round major urban centres to do an audit as a sample of how many houses have been virtually unoccupied for six months and above. “That will tell us whether we should be producing more or change strategy”, he said.
During a short interaction with newsmen after inspecting the Karmod Prefabrication facility, Fashola, who reiterated that it was an innovation in the Built Industry, declared, “It is innovation by young people; it’s innovation that brings investment into Nigeria, it is innovation that brings business and progress. And, therefore, government recommends it as part of its business expansion along with the economic opportunities that it brings”.
“So it sits very well with one of the key objectives of the government in terms of housing development and consumer credit. Every house creates a demand for finance. And potentially every mortgage being signed deepens our access to credit for people”, the Minister said.
Noting that the framework of the prefabricated building he just commissioned within the company’s premises was made from 12 shipping containers and finished with cement boards and other materials, the Minister reiterated that if the product found acceptability and the company was able to roll it out, government would give support through the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria.
“To my right here is one of the directors of the Federal Mortgage Bank who is saying that if they find buyers who are ready to off-take and there is a market and those buyers are willing to bank with the FMBN that will elicit for them an opportunity to get mortgage finance credit”, he said, adding, “So, we are, in a sense as government, with policies and programmes, taking demand to the market and enabling entrepreneurship flourish”.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Mr. Hakeem Shagaya, said the company was established five years ago in partnership with a Turkish company with the objective of helping to bridge the nation’s housing deficit which he put at about 17 million adding that in order to address the problem the company has adopted the simple philosophy of fast production, fast execution and fast assembly.
Also present at the occasion which took place at the company’s premises at Plot 3075, along Kubwa Expressway, included Chairman, Karmod International, Mr. Mesut Cankaya and renowned entrepreneur Alhaja Bola Shagaya, among other Stakeholders in the Built Industry as well as top officials from the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.Read More
The Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN has stated that thenumber of roads seeking government’s attention for completion and rehabilitation keeps increasing on daily basis while the resources required to fix them remained grossly inadequate.
Fashola disclosed this in Abuja during an interactive session of the Senate Committee on Works with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and its agencies.
The Minister maintained that it was the responsibility of his Ministry and its agencies to ensure that the roads in Nigeria were in good condition. He also noted that the inability to complete the various road projects across the country was as a result of inadequate budget and release of funds.
While describing roads as national assets of any nation, Fashola called on all stakeholders in the Works Sector to come up with a hard decision on prioritization of roads for completion and rehabilitationon the basis of social and economic importanceto Nigerians. The Minister recommended the prioritization ofmajor link roads across the states and the roads to the various sea and airports across the country.
The minister who was enthusiastic with the calibre of the Senators that constituted the Committee on Works whom he described ascapable and tested men of proven integrity, added that with their support, the challenges on Nigerian roads would be overcome.
Earlier, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Works, Senator Mohammed Adamu Aliero stated that members of his Committee would collaborate with the Executiveto do the needful in addressing the challenges in the works sector.
As an option to address the funding challenge in the works sector, Senator Aliero, suggested sourcing for fund through local and foreign investors by concessioning some of our major roads.” I believe if we concession some major roads and get the contractors to construct those roads to international standards, they can recoup their investments within reasonable time by tolling the roads.
This will gradually reduce government involvement in road construction and allow the ministry focus on being the regulator in line with what is obtainable in many countries in the world.”
“I am very optimistic that the government of President Mohammadu Buhari and the 9th Senate will deliver roads of international standard to the people of Nigeria and in no distant time, they will notice qualitative transformation in the works industry,” the chairman added.
Other members of the committee in attendance at the interactive session amongst others include, Senators Abdullahi Adamu, Ike Ekweremadu, Orji UzorKalu, Kashim Shetima, Kabiru Gaya and Danjuma Goje.
On the minister’s entourage was: the Minister of State for Works and Housing, Engr. Abubakar D. Aliyu, the Permanent Secretary, Mohammed Bukar and directors of the Ministry.Read More
Works and Housing Minister Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN said that reasonable amount of the 2020 Budget of his Ministry would be channeled towards completion of some priority on-going road projects in Nigeria.
According to Mr. Fashola, the Ministry has about Five Hundred and Twenty-Four road projects across the country, out of this, the ministry had categorized about Forty-Seven as priority projects to be completed.
He explained that the Forty-Seven roads projects were chosen by the Ministry because the Ministry does not have enough resources to work on all the Five Hundred and Twenty-Four road projects at the same time. The projects have reached 70 percent completion level, adding that it would be better to complete those roads.
“If we get these roads working, Nigeria will get back to its feet.” He added that it would lead to ease of doing business in our ports, movement of energy and fuel across the country, leads to evacuation of goods from our ports and movement of agricultural goods across the country”, he explained.
Speaking during the National Assembly House of Representative Committee on Works interactive session, the Minister disclosed that no part of the country was left out in the road projects, but pointed out that the big problem was the ability to complete the on-going work on the roads because of funding constraint.
He therefore called on the legislators to join hands with the Ministry in adopting and supporting the policy statement of Mr. President on completing all on-going projects instead of starting new ones, stressing that, “completing them is what will impact the lives of Nigerians.”
Speaking earlier, the Chairman, House Committee on Works, Honourable Abubakar Kabir Abubakar stated the purpose of the interactive session was to find out what challenges the Ministry was facing and how to find solutions to them.
“We are not hear to interrogate anybody, but rather to work together to create a positive impact in the lives of Nigerians”, he said.Read More
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, has assured Nigerians that critical roads across the country, particularly those leading to fuel depots would soon be fixed in order to enhance fuel distribution and ease the usual high traffic during the ember months.
Fashola spoke in his office in Abuja while responding to a request by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for urgent intervention by the Ministry on some roads leading to fuel depots without which the distribution of petroleum products during the festive months could be seriously hampered.
The Minister, who assured that arrangements were already being put in place to fix such roads and a number of those which conditions had deteriorated as a result of heavy rainfalls, listed such selected roads to include Suleja-Bida-Lapai-Lambata;Oyo–Ogbomosho-Ilorin;Jebba-Mokwa-Tegina;Benin-Sapele-Warri;Benin-Auchi-Okenne;Enugu-Onitsha;Awka-Amansea and Odukpani-Itu roads.
On the state of the listed roads, Fashola explained that the Suleja-Lambata-Minna Road was in a fairly good condition adding that the failed portions were slated for emergency repairs during the ember month’s programme while work is ongoing on the Bida-Lapai-Lambata Roads where the contractor handling it has already stabilized a substantial part of the road.
The Bida–Minna Road, the Minister explained, is a Niger State Government Road and is in a fairly good condition while the Suleja –Lambata –Minna Road; is a Federal Government road under SUKUK funding.
Disclosing that his Ministry had commenced discussions with the contractors handling the various road projects for the commencement of repair and rehabilitation works as soon as the rains subside, Fashola said approval has been given for the Engineering Corps of the Nigerian Army to repair the bad portions of the Bokani-Makera-Tegina-Birnin Gwari Road in Niger and Kaduna States, which is currently under procurement, due to the security situation in that axis.
He further explained that funding has also been a challenge, adding that the Federal Government would endeavour to meet its financial obligations to the contractors handling the various road projects to ensure that they returned to the sites.
He said work on the Oyo-Ogbomosho-Ilorin Road is on-going by the contractor handling the project, which, he explained, is one of the projects that received dedicated funding under SUKUK. According to him, although the project is being challenged by the current weather situation and funding, the old alignment of the Oyo-Ogbomosho route is receiving palliative attention.
On the Ilorin –Jebba –Mokwa Road, which is under a dualization contract, Fashola explained that the project has been divided into two sections with Ilorin –Jebba in Kwara State as Section1: while Section II comprises Jebba–Mokwa–Bokani Junction in Niger State adding that it is a new project and mobilization was still being processed.
For Okene–Lokoja Road, which is in four sections and under SUKUK funding, he explained that all the contractors handling the various sections had been directed to do palliative work on the failed portions of the road.
He said while a Federal Government appointed contractor is currently working on the Enugu –Onitsha Road, the bad portions of the Awka –Amansea Road are being repaired by the Anambra State Government.
For the Odukpani –Itu Road, the Minister said the contracting firm which is handling the project, has left the site as a result of the challenges of the weather situation and funding adding that the Ministry is currently intensifying efforts to address the challenges for the company to return to site as soon as possible.
Each one of these issues is a matter worthy of immense study and conversation on its own; however, since they have been rolled into the subject of one session at which I am to speak, I have decided to use case studies that we are largely familiar with to illustrate the 3 (three) broad themes.
Therefore, I will be addressing:
* Relationship between government, business and society
* Developments in international environment
* Trends in national development
* GOVERNMENT, BUSINESS AND SOCIETY
* Ministerial Appointments
This issue has generated concerns which are understandable, controversies which are perhaps needless and criticisms that are based on comparisons which are misinformed, mischievous or plainly ignorant.
Because I listened to some of them and read some of them, I have produced a table showing the forms of government, and the constitutional provisions of the countries and jurisdictions of comparisons to make the case, now that the dust has settled:
Procedure of Appointment of Ministers in Selected Jurisdictions
|Appointing Authority||Consultation||Confirmation||Number||Oath||Parliamentary Membership|
|Malawi||President||Not applicable||Not prescribed||Yes||Must NOT be parliamentarian|
|South Africa||President||Executive VP and Party Leaders||Not Applicable||Max: 27||Yes||Must be parliamentarian|
|Kenya||President||National Assembly||Min: 14 Max: 22||Yes||Not Applicable|
|India||President||Prime Minister||Not applicable||Not prescribed||Not stated||Must be Parliamentarian|
|Senegal||President||Prime Minister||Not applicable||Not prescribed||Not stated||Not stated|
|Ghana||President||Parliament||Min: 10 Max: 19||Yes||Majority must be parliamentarian|
|Nigeria||President||National Assembly||Min: 37*||Must not be parliamentarian|
*This follows the decision of the Court of Appeal in 2018 in the case of Panya v. President, FRN which held that FCT has the status of a state in the Federation and an indigene is entitled to be appointed a minister.
What you will immediately see from the tables are some of the countries of comparison are not federations like Nigeria.
Secondly, their political systems are parliamentary and not presidential (except for India). In effect, once you are elected as a member of parliament, you qualify to be minister, so the field of choice is significantly narrow; as distinct from our constitutional provision that requires one indigene to be picked from each of the 36 (THIRTY-SIX) states.
The President therefore has to pick one indigene from each state, and a person may be resident in a state and not be an indigene. There are sub-issues of gender, religion, age and senatorial districts, which are not constitutional but are nonetheless demanding of serious consideration in making the choice.
There is of course a debate of pre-stating the portfolio which is not constitutional but nevertheless generates intense controversy and we have seen how some people have analysed how some parts of the country got more substantive ministers and how some got more ministers of state and how some ministries were considered as “juicy” and some not so “juicy.”
I leave you to imagine how much longer the screening process may have taken, and how easier or more contentious approval may have been easy to secure if people had fore knowledge of the ministries to be assigned to their state representatives.
Please recall that the Chairman of EFCC was not cleared for 4 years, and nominees to NERC and FERMA were not cleared for almost 2 (two) years.
Each of these agencies have critical roles to play in our national lives in the areas of law enforcement, electricity regulation and road maintenance.
Please remember the bitter and vengeful confrontations between Democrats and Republicans, when President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to fill a vacancy in the US Supreme Court. The grass is not greener on the other side.
Today, the government is constructing roads in every state of Nigeria and while revenues are a challenge to prompt completion, some “experts” who have not successfully shown they can run a small business moan the loudest about Nigeria’s borrowing to fund infrastructure investment.
A Nigerian, has borrowed billions of dollars to build a refinery, petrochemical plant, fertilizer plant and gas processing plant, yet some backyard economists complain that a country whose population is in the hundreds of millions is borrowing too much to fix rail, roads, ports (air and sea) and power.
They come to the public space to talk about the GDP and infrastructure of the United States and OECD countries. But they are ominously silent on America’s public debt that exceeds $21 Trillion.
Nigerians in their Hundreds of Thousands go on holidays there, go for medical treatment there, seek for their citizenship, fly their airplanes and use their airports and unknowingly pay in part for the debt they sensibly incurred.
All of you business school graduates must seize the public space from those half-baked economists and enlighten the public about the necessity to invest before you can claim a DIVIDEND.
That said I will speak about:
* Lagos-Ibadan Expressway
* Apapa-Oworonshoki Expressway
These roads share one thing in common. They were built at least 4 decades ago and have not only outlived their design lives, their carrying capacity has been overwhelmed by a growing population, larger than what it was when they were built in the 1970s and the economic size has grown much bigger.
|YEAR||GDP ($)||POPULATION (NIGERIA)|
|2015||481.1 Billion||181.2 Million|
Since the return to democratic rule in 1999, these are some of the roads we all clamoured for their reconstruction, upgrade and expansion. Nothing worthy of note has happened until 2016 when construction either commenced or was restarted.
What we now hear is the inconvenience, instead of the acknowledgement that government is now responding and providing the service we all craved for almost two decades.
Please be aware that all those roads under construction are now CONSTRUCTION SITES and in the world that we now live in, SAFETY on construction sites is now a big issue.
Not only for motorists who have to drive through them but also for our brothers and sisters who are working there to deliver the infrastructure we desperately crave.
A camera sees only what the man behind the lens wants it to see. So instead of inconvenience, I see service, with the hope that things will get better.
I cannot conclude on infrastructure without mentioning Apapa port and the impact on all of us. There is a lot to be said but I will only share a few to enrich your perspectives and understanding of the difficult choices that government has to make.
These ports share some of the aging and capacity peculiarities of the roads I just discussed.
The Apapa port was first built in 1921 when Nigeria’s population and economic sizes were much smaller. (POPULATION 18.7 MILLION)
There was port expansion as the population and economy grew from 1921 until 1974/1975 in the wake of the cement Armada; when the Tincan Island port was built as the first and only port expansion 40 odd years after the port was originally built. (65 million population at the time).
The installed capacity is approximately 30 million metric tonnes throughout per annum, but it is now processing over 80 million metric tonnes. (Now estimated 180 million population) .
Please let us all remember that these ports have been concessioned to the private sector since 2007 for operation and government is essentially supervising and monitoring.
Has the private sector done its job by making the necessary investments in cranes, container handling equipment and facilities, scanners and personnel?
Why is government not exercising its powers, and what is the recourse for non-performing privatized or concessioned assets?
How does government raise additional and necessary money to dredge waterways to make them more navigable to other ports?
Should government bar those trucks from Apapa, and if so, what happens when raw materials cannot leave the port to factories?
If factories shut down, what happens to the thousands or millions who will lose their jobs, and the income tax they pay to the states and federal government, from which workers’ salaries are paid, security is funded and government business is run?
These are the real questions that government grapples with. They are interconnected and no one is easy to solve.
For now, government is reconstructing the road, developing a rail to the port, managing the traffic and supporting the construction of the Lekki port as the 3rd (Third) port expansion in Lagos in 100 years.
Other inland ports like the Baro port have been completed, but the access road is a work in progress, challenged only by insufficient funds, in an economy where some complain about borrowing, and there is a Fiscal Responsibility Act that limits the amount of deficit and consequently how much can be borrowed.
Curiously, there is no law that limits the number of children that families can have, or the rate at which the economy can grow.
* Trends in National Development
* Herdsmen Clashes/kidnapping
In the process of internal government review, we had cause in December 2018 to analyse data that we had gathered over 3 (three years), from 2016-2018.
Amongst the various issues we looked at, we observed that crime statistics particularly clashes between herdsmen and farmers increased between October-March every year in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
The data also showed that the water levels from rivers and canals began to recede around this period from October, when the rainy season ends to March which is the peaking period of the dry season. While some people still choose to see a FULANIZATION AGENDA, data and common sense clearly reveals the contrary.
As water recedes, pastoralists become compelled to move their animals in search of water heading from North downwards to South.
This is the obvious recipe for conflict, as livestock passes through farmlands in search of water and grazing opportunities.
You now think about it and ask yourself how many incidents of herdsmen attack you have heard about in the last 2 months in the peak of the rainy season, compared to the number reported between April and May earlier in the year.
What has the government done?
It has enunciated a policy to eliminate the source of conflict by providing grazing and watering opportunities for pastoralists.
You must remember RUGA and the outrage and resistance to it.
Recently you may have heard that 19 (NINETEEN) governors have signed up to the National Livestock Transformation Program (NLTP).
If both RUGA and NLTP have the same component of providing watering and grazing opportunities to pastoralists to prevent them from roaming and avoid conflict with farmers, what then you might ask is the difference and what was all the fuss about RUGA meant to achieve?
In my view, the fuss about RUGA was nothing but pettifogging.
As for the recent reports of increased cases of kidnapping as an emerging national trend, I make the point that this is not a novel crime in Nigeria.
From when I was a child we were reminded by our parents about the threats of kidnappers. So, what we have is a crime pattern that has come back to the front burner while cases of armed robbery at homes and banks seem to have taken a back burner.
The question I urge all of us to ask is why has it come back?
Is organized crime gathering more momentum?
Is the presence of police in deterring bank robberies forcing organized criminals to re-think and re-strategize?
Is the gradual reduction of cash at homes and on our persons, through greater use of bank cards and electronic wallets, making home attacks less rewarding and profitable?
Simply put, are the criminals saying to us, if we cannot rob a bank or a home for cash, why not seize the owner of the cash (hostage taking) and get their people to bring the cash to us?
If this is the case, what are we doing or going to do about it? (We should seriously consider and effect lifestyle changes that avoid obscene display of wealth which makes us vulnerable as potential victims.)
* Human Capital Development
One of the recent conversations that have dominated our public space is the seeming lack of commitment to investment in our human capital.
I emphasise the word “seeming”, because contrary to the case being made about the alleged lack of sufficient investment, only a part of the full picture is revealed to the unsuspecting public, either as a result of ignorance or mischief by the proponents of this lack of investment, who point only at the budget in the ministries of health and education at the federal government level to make this case.
Firstly, they conveniently ignore the budgets of states and local governments and the spending at these levels.
You cannot paint our National picture if you leave States and Local Governments out of the Frame.
Secondly, they compare this federal government budget (only) with that of countries like Ghana the whole country, while forgetting or omitting to state that the federal government budget only part of the country’s budget (52%) being a federation as opposed to Ghana, being the whole country, a republic.
Furthermore, they ignore expenditure in school infrastructure like buildings and roads (federal ministry of works’ road projects in 14 universities in phase I and 28 universities in phase II) which will not be captured in the budget of the ministry of education. (See Table Below) .
They then seem to lay the blame of this alleged lack of investment in schools and hospitals on the federal government, and sometimes ask for RESTRUCTURING as the way out.
But they do not tell their unsuspecting audience that:
* The federal government does not own one primary school
* The federal government does not own one primary healthcare centre
* The federal government owns 104 (unity) secondary schools
* The federal government owns 43 universities
* The federal government owns 47 universities
* The private sector owns 75 universities
Primary schools are the places where the foundation for learning and education is laid and primary health care centres are the appropriate places for ante-natal care for pregnant women, and immunization to babies to prevent infant and maternal deaths.
Our constitution sensibly leaves these to local governments closest to the people.
If anything needs to be restructured in these centres, it is not the constitution but the recruitment process, to ensure that the most competent people are entrusted to those places of enormous responsibilities of local government chairpersons, primary school teachers, primary health care personnel.
Table of Schools Benefitting from FGN Intervention in Internal Roads
* Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike
* Federal College of Education, Asaba
* Federal College of Education, Zaria
* Federal Polytechnic, Damaturu
* Federal Polytechnic, Ede
* Federal Polytechnic, Offa
* Federal Polytechnic, Nekede
* Federal Polytechnic, Oko
* Federal School of Dental Technology and Therapy, Enugu
* Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta
* Federal University of Technology, Port Harcourt
* Federal University, Dutse
* Federal University, Dutsinma
* Federal University, Wukari
* Federal University of Technology, Akure
* Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike
* Modibo Adamawa University, Yola
* National Institute for Nigerian Languages, Aba
* Nigerian Institute of Oil Palm Research, Benin
* Nigerian Law School, Abuja
* University College Hospital Ibadan Phase II
* The Federal Polytechnic, Kaura Namoda
* The Federal Polytechnic,, Nasarawa
* University of Agriculture, Makurdi
* University of Calabar
* University of Ibadan
* University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital
* University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku, Enugu
* Usmanu Dan Fodiyo University, Sokoto
* University of Nigeria, Nsukka
* University of Maiduguri, Borno
* University of Benin, Edo
* University College Ibadan, Oyo State
* Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna
* Federal University, Lokoja, Kogi
* Federal University, Gashua, Yobe
* Federal University Oye, Ekiti State
* Federal University Otuoke, Bayelsa State
* Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo
* Federal University Lafia, Nasarawa State
* Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi State
* Federal College of Education, Katsina
* Bayero University Kano
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
The proponents of this argument who tell only a part of the story of investment in Human Capital, also are either unaware of, or deliberately leave out the data of intervention in Rural areas where:
* Boreholes are being provided for access to water supply.
* Classrooms are being refurbished or built for access to education.
* Roads are being built to add value to land holding.
* Health facilities are being constructed for access to health care.
These projects number 3, 179, have employed 221,460 and benefitted or impacted 577,459 people nationwide between 2016 and 2019.
* CHANGING INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT
* Right Wing Extremism (Illiberal Democracy)
The idea of liberalism in democracy seems to be yielding slowly to an emerging less liberal democracy for “quick” decision making and more cumbersome consensus building process for decision making.
China is a ready example, as is the United States, where the Republican dominated senate is now being accused of having lost its authority to oversight the president.
Turkey is yet another example, and the United Kingdom appears to be the latest to subscribe to this vogue with the suspension of her parliament.
With these developments, nationalistic agenda such as Make America Great Again, and Brexit are being pushed by the political elite and they are being (mis)understood to mean that it is foreigners who are causing local problems of economic (under) development, (un)employment and (in) security.
With the globalization and hi-tech, these messages are reaching many more people through handheld devices much quicker than they probably would 20 (twenty) years ago.
* Global Economic Snap-Shot
On the global economic front, things are slowing down. The United Kingdom has been in austerity mode for a decade, China is slowing down, and America is also slowing and simultaneously engaging in trade wars, using tariffs.
From 2015 when the Nuclear Treaty was signed with Iran, which allowed more oil into the market, prices of crude oil crashed and affects oil dependent economies like Saudi (drawing on reserves); Venezuela (slid to recession and depression); Nigeria went into recession and recovered to a consecutive quarter growth peaking at 1.9%.
If the two wealthiest members of the global family are at war and not doing well, what happens to the other members of the family?
On the African Continent, South Africa, the second largest by GDP is facing slow growth at less than 1%, and high crime, the lesson is that the grass is not greener on the other side.
* Local Economic Outlook
With a commitment to invest in infrastructure and build roads, rail, airports and power, the prognosis at home looks better than abroad. It is still some distance away but that is understandable as representative of the distance between policy, implementation and results.
Currently, the ministry of works and housing which I superintend has over 300 road contracts at different stages of execution.
If we can mobilize resources from October this year through to May 2020, which gives us 8 clear months of construction in dry weather.
The spin offs, for mining construction materials, labour and employment, reduced journey times and cost of travel as we complete, can only be good for the economy.
Ladies and gentlemen, these are my thoughts about the relationship between government, business and social trends in the national development and the changing international environment.
Thank you for listening.
Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
Hon. Minister of Works and Housing
Friday 20th September 2019Read More
The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Monday, strongly dispelled as fake, news circulating in the social media speculating that some bridges along Jebba-Mokwa-Bokani Road, especially Tatabu Bridge, collapsed and advising motorists to avoid the route.
The Ministry clarified that there is no bridge collapse along the route and urged members of the public to disregard any mischievous circulation of old pictures as a recent incident.
In a Press Release signed by the Deputy Director, Press, Mr Stephen Kilebi, the Ministry confirmed that all the bridges along the route are in good motorable condition pointing out that the route was very recently traversed to confirm the condition of the bridges.
Dispelling the news as unfounded, the Press Release noted that the Federal Controller of Works/Engineer’s Representative in Niger State, Engr. I.F. Umeh, who along with other officers travelled on the road up to the Kwara State border confirmed that, “All the bridges are in good and passable condition. There is no bridge that collapsed along the road. The Tatabu Bridge is intact and in perfect condition”, adding that there is also free vehicular movement along the entire stretch of the road.
While advising motorists to ignore any fake news of bridge collapse along the aforementioned road, the Ministry stressed the need for caution, especially by those using the social platform for the dissemination of news pointing out that the circulation of such unconfirmed and fake news concerning an important public utility such as the Jebba-Mokwa-Bokani Road could trigger off a situation that could have grave economic consequences to the nation.Read More
I am pleased to welcome the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, who is represented by Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, Hon. Minister of Police Affairs to the 70th Session of the Trans Sahara Road Liaison Committee. I especially thank his Excellency, on behalf of the Trans Sahara Road Liaison Committee for granting us the approval to host this Session in Nigeria.
2. I will also like to extend a special welcome to Member Country Ministers in charge of road infrastructure from Republic of Tunisia, Peoples Democratic Republic of Algeria, Republic of Mali, Republic of T’chad and Republic of the Niger. The last Ministerial meeting of the TRLC was held in 2014 in Algiers, Algeria therefore I believe there is a lot of information the Secretariat and the Experts will be sharing with us over the next two days.
3. Every session of the TRLC has the objective of discussing issues relating to the route, the financing and relationship with continental organisations such as the African Union Commission (AUC), African Development Bank (AfDB), New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) who are our partners in the development of the Trans Sahara Road (TSR).
4. In this light, the TRLC member countries would like to appreciate the contributions of these organisations in no small measure towards the development of the route.
5. Before going into some of the details, I believe that Nigeria’s hosting of this event, necessitates that we provide some background information about what this is about and what it means for ordinary Nigerians:
* To start with it is useful for every African to be aware of the existence of a Trans African Highway Plan seeking to connect Africa from Cape Town to Tunisia either by driving through East Africa Border, the West African Border or through the Centre of Africa.
* There is also a Coast to Coast connectivity from West to East Africa, North East Africa to North West Africa and South West Africa to East Africa.
* A total of 9 (Nine) Highways at different stages of construction are meant to achieve this connectivity. Three of these Highways pass through the Territory of Nigeria, namely:
(a) Lagos – Dakar (through Seme in Benin Republic);
(b) Lagos – Mombasa (through Yaoundè in Cameroon); and
(c) Lagos – Algiers, which is the one supported by this Committee and this is the subject of our meeting.
* This road covers 9,022km (7,171km 80%) is asphalt while 1,851km (20%) is earth road.
* It serves 37 regions, 74 urban centres with 60 million inhabitants in 6 (six) Countries who are members of this Committee. It is important to underscore here that the critical part of the Trans Sahara Highway which in centuries past is plied by Camels and Horses for trade has now developed for use by vehicles.
* For Nigerians it is important to know that 1,131km of the 9,022km passes through our country from Lagos to Ibadan, Ilorin – Jebba, Kaduna – Kano – Kongolam where we have a border with Niger Republic.
6. The development of the Trans Sahara Route is to ensure integration, improvement of economic activities and cooperation between Member Countries. This will provide the business community access to explore and maximise the enormous economic opportunities available within member countries. There are immense possibilities from Fashion, Agriculture, Technology, Energy to Film and Music.The journey from 1960 when the Trans Sahara Route (TSR) was established till date has not been easy, but concerted efforts must be made at realising the objectives of the TSR.
7. The entire section of the 1,131km long Trans Sahara Route in Nigeria from Lagos – Ibadan – Ilorin – Kaduna – Kano – Kongolam Niger Republic Border has asphalt surfacing. The current activity on the various section of the route are as follows:
* The Lagos-Ibadan road is 127km long. The Lagos-Shagamu section (43.6Km) is being developed into a 3-lane dual carriageway while the Shagamu-Ibadan section (83.4Km) is being reconstructed as a 2-lane dual carriageway.
* The Ibadan-Ilorin section of the road is a dual carriageway of 160km long out of which 105.5km has been dualised leaving only 54.2km that is in progress of being dualised. The old alignment is being maintained to ensure free flow of traffic at all times.
* The Ilorin-Jebba-Birnin Gwari-Kaduna section of the route is 458km long single lane carriageway. The Ilorin-Jebba section that is 105km long has been fully rehabilitated and is currently being dualised while the Jebba-Mokwa-Birnin Gwari-Kaduna section (353km) is also being considered for future dualisation.
* Kaduna – Kano dual carriageway which is 230km long is under reconstruction and the work is currently being executed in three sections to enable speedy completion.
* Kano – Kazaure – Kongolam Section is 133km long and is a single lane carriageway.
8. The progress of works that we are achieving on these routes in the coming weeks and months will strengthen integration, cultural cooperation and economic trade and competition in the African Continental Free Trade Area.
9. The importance of the Trans Sahara Route to the Nigeria economy is underlined by the priority Mr. President has placed on the funding, wherein, the reconstruction of the Lagos – Ibadan Section and the Kaduna – Kano Section is included under Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) to ensure that there is no funding gap associated with the execution of the works, and the recent signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) Treaty.
10. While Trade and cultural integration are important, safety is also paramount and I am delighted to announce that just last Wednesday the Federal Executive Council approved that Nigeria should ratify and domesticate the African Road Safety Charter adopted at 26th ordinary session of the African Union Commission in January 2016 in Addis Ababa.
11. Once more, my gratitude goes to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari for hosting of the 70th session of the TRLC in Nigeria and the support given to the development of the section of the Trans Sahara road in Nigeria, to the Member Country Ministers for the support they have given to the development of the Trans Sahara Road within their respective countries and for the support of our financial partners over the years.
12. I also congratulate Member Country Experts and the Secretary General for a job well done and to remind you that there is still a lot of work that is yet to be accomplished.
13. You are all welcome to the 70th Session of the Trans Sahara Road Liaison Committee, you are most welcome to Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria, and you are especially welcome to Nigeria.
Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
Works and Housing Minister, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN said that for Nigeria to achieve affordable housing for its teeming population, the Federal Government has to work with the State Governments.
Delivering his keynote address at the 8th Meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development with the theme: " Housing Development and Consumer Credit as Strategies for National Development" the Minister said that collaboration between the Federal and State Governments was very crucial in achieving affordable houses for Nigerians.
According to the Minister, the basic requirement for building and owning a house is land which is owned and controlled by the states, adding that the urban development and planning is also a matter within the jurisdiction of the states as determined by the Supreme Court. "Whether you can build a filling station, school, business centres is determined by the states, " he explained.
Fashola also noted that the issue of housing deficit in Nigeria is an urban issue. " In our rural areas there is no housing deficit, no traffic and waste management issues, these are mostly prevalent in the urban areas, " he said.
The Minister also described the theme of this year's Council as apt and carefully chosen as a step towards the ladder of prosperity, adding that, the meeting would afford participants from the Federal level the opportunity to interface with their states counterparts as a foundation for achieving national prosperity.
Continuing, Fashola also said housing projects could add value to Mr. President's vision of lifting over 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years by creating access to opportunities, income, nutrition, shelter and freedom from diseases.
"By Government's action in construction sites all over Nigeria, we are reaching out to people and moving them from Poverty to prosperity, " he said.
In his opening remarks the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammad Musa Bello represented by Engr. Umar Gambo Jibrin, the Executive Secretary Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCDA), said, the theme for this year's council was pertinent considering the housing deficit challenge the country is currently facing and the lack of financing to tackle it.
He said that, as one of the fastest growing cities in the world, FCT has a major problem of shortage of housing.
While calling on Financial Houses to make a long financing opportunities to address challenges in the housing sector, Bello said that, the process of land administration was transparent and that the Federal Capital Territory Administration was working to ease the collection of certificates of occupancies (C of Os).
Delivering his Goodwill message, the Chairman of Senate Committee on Housing, Senator Sam Egwu said the responsibility of any Government was to provide affordable houses for its citizens.
"We at the National Assembly will provide the legislative support to move the housing sector forward. We are ready to work on any bill sent to us, " he said.
For the record and for information basis, it is important to mention that the National Council offers a platform of convergence for representatives of the federal government , for those of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory to consider policy, agree programmes, form consensus about how life changing and beneficial policies, programmes and projects can be implemented not only by the federal government alone, but by all state governments and the FCT.
This is important in order to achieve wholesome and widespread delivery, access to as many as possible, and impact on an equitable scale.
While I welcome returning commissioners in some states, I am mindful of the changes that the general elections have brought in some states and therefore the change of personnel that have come with them.
I also therefore welcome very enthusiastically new members of the council and assure them of our commitment to assist them in achieving their developmental objectives for their state.
Let me point out that of all the National Councils that I know, I cannot recall easily any council for which the need for federal government and state government collaboration is so pivotal and defining for success like this Council for Lands, Housing and Urban Development.
This is due to many reasons, not the least of which is the Land Use Act, which vests control of lands in the territory of each state in the governor; and in minister of the Federal capital Territory (FCT) in the case of the FCT.
Added to this is the fact that the Supreme Court has decided since 2003, that urban planning and development control is the sole responsibility of the state governments in their territory, and that of the FCT in Abuja (34 states).
In other words, the use of land, whether for a house, office, market, school, hospital, petrol filling station or any other purpose is a matter solely for the state government.
Nevertheless, Housing is a social, developmental and economic objective of the federal government who cannot own land, unless allocated by the state government, and who cannot build unless urban planning department of states approve the development (Gwagwalada).
It is the foundation for that cooperation that we seek to continuously strengthen at each year’s national council meeting and then follow up with each state on a case by case basis.
The theme for this year’s meeting is “Housing Development and Consumer Credit as Strategies for National Prosperity”, and it is informed by recent developments in the economy and also by the commitment made by the federal government in its Next Level Agenda.
Permit me to recall that on the 12th June 2019, the President Muhammadu Buhari, in his address at Eagle Square, committed to lifting one hundred million people out of poverty. This is what Mr President said:
“China and Indonesia succeeded under authoritarian regimes. India succeeded in a democratic setting. We can do it. With leadership and a sense of purpose, we can lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.”
Since Mr. President made this progressive, ambitious and forward looking commitment, not a few have agonised about how. Some have divided the number of people by the number of years and wonder how 10 million people will come out of poverty, every year.
To yet another group, they understood it only in terms of employment.
I do not.
I understand it is a combination of employment, access to opportunities, value asset renewal, increase in income for those already employed, access to nutrition, freedom from disease, access to shelter and many more life enhancing opportunities that move people from want and poverty to access and prosperity.
This Council meeting emphasizes the need for the understanding that poor people are indigenes of the 36 states and FCT and it will require more than Mr President alone to achieve the commitment.
The impact of prosperity will be felt in the states and the governors and their commissioners have a role to play and they are already playing it, as I will show.
So too the Legislators at National and state levels.
However, let me point out that after that statement of June 12, which I choose to call the June 12 Charter for Prosperity, Mr President at the Retreat Preceding the inauguration of Ministers on the 21st day of August 2019 identified the following areas of focus for the administration over the term of four years namely:
iv. Energy (Petroleum products); and
viii. Housing and Consumer Credit
Although all areas listed have a direct impact on poverty, improvement of quality of life, cost of living and prosperity, the focal areas for the Ministry of Works and Housing are infrastructure, generally for works, and Housing and consumer credit for the Ministry of Housing.
Whenever I visit the sites of the pilot National Housing project being undertaken across the 34 States who provided land, I see an ecosystem of commerce, employment and entrepreneurship.
From the contractor/construction company who wins the bid to the labourers on site who earn N3000 a day, (N18, 000 a week (for six days) and approximately N72,000 a month) ; to the owner of the concrete mixer I met in Oyo state who charges N20,000 a day: to suppliers and vendors of building materials, and employees of companies that manufacture paint, tiles, roofing materials, the federal government, and state government collaboration provided a step up towards the ladder of prosperity.
On each site, there were averagely at least 1000 people employed.
Therefore if we could have more sites per state and all states involved, clearly many more people will get an opportunity to work, to supply, to produce and to earn an income. This is a step on to the ladder of prosperity and a big contribution to the achievement of the June 12 Charter of Prosperity.
This is why we have resolved to use cooperatives as the vehicle to achieve more construction in many states in order to expand the scale of construction, and therefore maximize the scale of opportunities.
The Federal Mortgage Bank, which is our parastatal for providing construction and acquisition finance has been designated as the focal agency to drive this initiative and they will be providing a detailed presentation to the council shortly after my address.
What we see is that cooperatives have been successful in transportation, agriculture, trades and markets and among artisans. We think it can be successful in delivering large scale affordable housing if cooperatives acquire their own land, design what they want to build, get state urban planning approval, and federal government gives them, through the Federal Mortgage Bank, loans to construct and loans to members to buy.
This is our broad vision for enabling access to housing and consumer credit (loans) through construction.
Other policies and programmes are the issuance of backlog of certificates of occupancy and consent to land transactions ( 3,000) and (1,708) respectively.
These instruments strengthen and support access to credit and also contribute to improving value of land by 30%-40% and this asset value appreciation is a contribution towards the prosperity ladder.
Site and Service Schemes: Where Government provides roads and other infrastructure to land, improves the value of land by 30%-40% and this asset value appreciation is a contribution towards prosperity .
Slum Upgrade Projects: also being undertaken through the Urban Development department of the Ministry are other ways by which we improve quality of life and move people out of poverty. Every completed project not only renews the environment, replaces squalor with service, but it also improves the rental income to house owners and capital value of their property.
While I urge you all to listen attentively to the presentation by Architect Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, the Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank when he presents the plan on cooperatives, I urge you all to start thinking about :
Cooperatives and how they can register, own lands, contribute to the National Housing Fund and benefit.
How many cooperatives in your states can qualify and what you can do to help them
How to keep proper data and records of cooperatives and also the number of people employed on each site when work commences
How in your states you can use site and service schemes, prompt issuance of certificate of occupancy and consent to land transaction to drive poverty to the rear and propel people towards prosperity.
I have no doubt in my mind that the vision is achievable and surpassable, the building blocks for achieving it are already in place, and it is for all states and federal government, with the private sector to commit to work on the road to prosperity, through housing delivery, and access to credit on a massive scale.
Thank you for listening and I hope we have very faithful deliberations.
Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
Minister of Works and Housing
On behalf of the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, Honourable Minister of State, Engr. Abubakar D. Aliyu, FNSE, the Permanent Secretary, Mohammed Bukar and the Management of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, I warmly welcome you to the Technical Session (Meeting of Officials) at the Eight (8th) Meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development.
2. The theme of this year’s Council Meeting, “Housing Development and Consumer Credit as Strategies for National Prosperity” was carefully chosen in recognition of government’s new initiative to generate more jobs and create wealth for Nigerians through the mass construction of affordable housing units.
3. As we all are aware, housing is one of the fundamental human needs and a veritable indicator of standard of living in every society. However, housing deficits exist in almost all the countries of the world, either in the form of shortages in supply or affordability gaps.
Housing is of supreme importance to man and one of the best indicators of a person’s standard of living and his place in society. However, at no point has it been adequately supplied either quantitatively or qualitatively.
4. Permit me to highlight that various factors are responsible for preventing effective housing development, some of which include lack of secure access to land, high cost of construction, limited access to finance, bureaucratic procedures, high cost of land registration and titling, uncoordinated policies and implementation at both Federal and State levels, ownership rights under the Land Use Act, lack of critical infrastructure, affordability gap, and inefficient development control, etc.
5. In order to comprehensively address the challenges of housing development for sustainable economic growth, there is the need to develop a holistic strategy that will involve all tiers of government and the private sector. Considering the fact that the private sector has displayed flexibility and potentials in housing development as it is prevalent, internationally. I want to assure you that the federal government would continually work towards fine-tuning its policies and programmes towards creating an enabling environment for greater participation of subnational governments and the private sector in housing development.
6. It is worth noting that, the present Administration is mindful of the challenges of ‘access to credit’ encountered by the Low- and Medium-Income segments of our society in the pursuit of home ownership. Government is also aware that land acquisition poses a major hindrance to effective housing delivery. Thus, all processes that would ensure proper harmonization of the various procedures and instruments of land acquisition/transfer across the country are currently being addressed.
7. The Ministry through its agencies is working tirelessly in collaboration with the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Cooperative Societies as well as the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) towards the development and delivery of affordable housing to the low-income workers in the formal sector. Furthermore, our Agencies are also developing initiatives to incorporate micro-enterprises, such as agro-allied ventures into the housing scheme with a view to generating more employment opportunities thereby creating wealth for beneficiaries to repay their loans at ease
8. It is interesting to note, that the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria’s single digit interest rate of 6% on mortgage and home renovation loans is the lowest, compared to what is obtainable in the open market. The Bank has concluded various initiatives to make shelter more accessible and affordable by the reduction of equity contribution for National Housing Fund mortgage loans to 0% for loans of N5 million and below, while loans of N5 - N15 million attract only 10% down payments.
9. In addition, the ‘Rent-to-Own’ initiative eliminates equity contribution and payment of mortgage perfection fees, which accounts for up to 20% of mortgage transaction costs. Under a simple rental arrangement, an individual gains immediate access to a housing property while the monthly rent is accrued to serve as equity build-up towards ownership of the property.
10. As you are also aware, the ongoing National Housing Programme across the federation is an initiative specially designed to encourage local manufacturers, professionals, artisans and craftsmen towards enhancing employment and wealth creation. The Housing Programme only allows the use of home-grown building materials and components in the construction of the houses except where it is established that the component cannot be produced locally or production capacity is inadequate.
11. Ladies and Gentlemen, in recognition of the widening income gap in our society, the present administration has provided an array of safety-nets through the National Social Investment Programme (SIP), targeted at providing support to over 12 million needy Nigerians by giving relief and assistance to children, unemployed youths, the weak and vulnerable as well as small/medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) to mitigate the adverse effect of poverty. Let us also use this platform of the National Council to harvest ideas and develop some stringent strategies for employment generation and wealth creation through the built industry.
12. I, therefore, urge all stakeholders, here present, to make meaningful contributions on the memoranda submitted to enable the federal government formulate and strengthen policies that would facilitate more home ownership amongst Nigerians, especially the low- and -medium income earners.
Thank You.Read More
Fashola, who served for two tenures as the 13th Governor of Lagos State from 2007 – 2015, described General Johnson as an illustrious pioneer, a man of singular vision, integrity and unwavering duty whose loss is “one that is shared by an entire nation.”
According to the Minister, “General Johnson was a dedicated soldier and public servant and a loving husband and father. As the first governor of the newly created Lagos State in 1967, he faced immediate challenges in leading a restive federal capital territory. He handled those challenges with tremendous courage and unwavering grace.”
Noting that the late elder statesman established a strong administrative structure for the State, Fashola declared : “Beyond governing a state which was at the heart of a divisive national civil war, General Johnson was an administrative trailblazer. Along with key civil servants like Adeyemi-Bero and Folarin Coker, he laid a template for civil service practices and procedures which set Lagos State apart as a centre of excellence.”
Recalling his appeal, as Governor, during the launch of the Biography of the late Brigadier Mobolaji Johnson titled, Lagos State-My Life of Service with Integrity, in 2010, that past leaders should document their periods of Stewardship, Fashola noted that such documentation that showed the great infrastructural strides like how the Lagos City Hall was built, how the Badagry Expressway was constructed, how the Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Complex was built, among several others would serve as inspiration to future leaders that things were successfully done before and could still be done again.
Fashola said he would personally miss the wise counsel and support of GeneralJohnson. “During my own tenure as Lagos State Governor, General Johnson was always ready with counsel and advice. If there was any public event or occasion regarding the welfare of the state, his towering figure was certain to be found present,” he said.¥
“On behalf of my wife, Abimbola, we extend our deepest condolences to his entire family. His loss is one that is shared by an entire nation,” Fashola said.Read More
Members of the National Assembly Joint Committee on Lands, Housing and Urban Development (Senate & House of Reps) have commended the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola,SAN for effectively utilising the 2019 budget on projects that were beneficial to the citizens.
This commendation was given when the Minister appeared before the Joint Committee to defend the Ministry’s 2020 budget, Wednesday, October 23, 2019.
While appraising the performance of the 2019 budget of his ministry, Fashola listed some special projects executed by his ministry in rural communities across the country in 2019 which include:construction of classrooms, boreholes, medical health care centres in rural areas and construction of drainage to slum communities.
He pointed out that most of the projects were requested by the parliamentarians for the rural dwellers within their various constituencies.
On the remarkable success of Issuance of Certificates of Occupancy and Letters of Consent to respective applicants by the ministry,, a member of the committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya from Kano State, noted that the letters of consent issued to the people enhanced the economic performance and development of his people because having the papers indicating their ownership of the land gave them the authority to do whatever they wanted with the land.
The Minister, went ahead to disclose to the joint committee that the 2020 budget proposal of the ministry gave priority to some specific housing projects already embarked upon by the ministry.
The projects according to him, include: the completion of the ongoing construction of 1155 blocks of the 2383 units of houses under the National Housing Programme (NHP) in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory,completion of on going construction of Federal Secretariats in six states; Anambra, Bayelsa, Gombe , Nassarawa, Osun and Zamfara, installation of solar panels as alternative source of energy at the ministry's headquarters,Abuja.
Others according to the minister are: fulfilment of Nigeria's financial obligations to Shelter Afrique for the construction of affordable housing of which Nigeria is a key player.
Fashola also mentioned in the priority list: the provision of infrastructure by building access roads, drainages for erosion control for social housing schemes in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Enugu, Kwara and Osun States, and settlement of liabilities incurred under the Special Projects Unit, which caters for project under the Millennium Development Goals MDAs and Sustainable Development Goals .
The Minister,however, faulted the practice of measuring budget performance by funds expended on projects but not on the actual work done. He explained that most times the projects were carried out on priority bases, therefore the fund made available might not be enough to carry out all the projects needed by Nigerians.
Mr. Fashola charged members of the joint committee to encourage members of their constituencies to form cooperative groups through which land could be acquired from states to access credit and build genuine houses of choice.
He further revealed that that the ministry was planning to launch the cooperative system for ease of accessing land and credit for providing affordable houses for Nigerians.
While applauding the Minister for the judicious use of fund for the housing sector in the 2019 budget the Chairman of the Joint Committee, Dr.Sam Egwu admonished the the Honourable and his team to ensure that the implementation of the year 2020 budget was better than that of 2019.
Members of the joint committee also advocated that more funds should be given to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to enable it achieve it goals.Read More
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, has said that with the Federal Government’s commitment to renewal of infrastructure across the country, Nigeria would sing a new song soon in terms of ease of movement and doing business.
Fashola, who made the declaration while playing host to a United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) delegation led by the Representative to ECOWAS and Regional Director, Nigeria Regional Hub, Mr. Jean Bakole, who paid a courtesy visit to him, said the massive renewal of the nation’s roads, bridges, rails, airports and seaports meant that “in the shortest possible Nigerians will sing a new song”.
The Minister, who noted that work has already started in those areas across the country, pointed out that most of the infrastructure have already been upgraded while some roads have been either completed or nearing completion in most areas adding that in those sections where work has been completed, movement of goods and services have become easier as being testified to by commuters.
According to the Minister, although some of the road projects are yet to start those already completed have brought with them better travel experience in terms of the ease of doing business adding that better experience in movement of goods and services would translate to industrial growth and development.
He said the Government was also focusing on Science, Education as critical purveyors of development adding that already the seeds were being sown under the nation’s broad Educational policy and its Social Investment programme that empowers the youth to go and teach in those areas.
Fashola said Government’s commitment to Agriculture was also yielding results in terms of increase in food production such as rice, cereal and others adding that although the price of food was still high, it was expected to come down significantly as supply increased.
The Minister said, with the increase in food production, Nigeria was now supplying not only to local markets but to international markets such as the North and Central African sub-regions, adding that as supply increased the Government would want to see more value added.
“We want to see more projects in manufacturing and all of that. Those are at the heart of helping the economy grow in Small and Medium businesses”, the Minister said adding that because of the understanding of their capacities and their contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) the Small and Medium businesses were being supported by clear government policies through institutions like the Bank of Industries and Ministry of Trade and Investments.
Also, according to the Minister, the Ministry of Finance is also developing Fiscal policies to give relief to them in terms of the way they pay their taxes adding that such relief could be seen in the way the current increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) was structured by the President in favour of the small businesses whom, he said, “are clearly under the protective custody of Mr. President”.
Assuring that all the projects would soon come to fruition to give Nigerians a better future, Fashola said in terms of building an industrial base in this country, President Muhammadu Buhari was very clear where his priorities lay adding that those were the priorities that formed the basis of his Campaign promises to the electorates.
He listed the priorities to include tackling corruption which, he noted, “is inimical to prosperity, improving the economy to deliver prosperity and to improve security, the lack of which, he also noted, “is inimical to industrial development”. Also embedded in the promises, he said, is to develop and renew the country’s infrastructure “which is very important for business efficiency, growth and productivity”.
“The truth is that the rate at which our household has grown has not been matched by the rate at which our infrastructure is growing and this administration understands that. The Nigerian household has grown and we need to build a new infrastructure not only to accommodate those who are currently in the house but those who are on their way”, the Minister said.
Fashola, who expressed the hope that with the ongoing massive infrastructure renewal the nation would emerge from its present economic situation to a better and prosperous nation, however, added that there is always a distance between policy articulation, policy implementation and the results. “But policy has been articulated, implementation is being undertaken and results lie at the horizon and the end”, he said.
Thanking the UNIDO delegation for the courtesy of the visit, Fashola said Nigeria has clearly embraced partnerships with the United Nations Organization and its affiliates adding that recent proof of such collaboration was demonstrated by the President’s personal attendance at the just concluded United Nations General Assembly as well as embracing other collaborative programmes of the world body.
The Minister, however, advocated a reform in the United Nations rules and regulations pointing out that the existing rules and regulations have become obsolete and could no longer meet the present challenges.
“Everybody knows that the UN has come a long way and many of its foundational rules and regulations and development programmes clearly need an upgrade”, the Minister said noting that the world is moving faster and changing much more rapidly. “The UN Charter for example needs reforms to bring them in conformity with today’s global challenges if it must continue to fulfill the obligations for which it was created”, he said.
Responding to the introductory remarks of the leader of the delegation, Fashola expressed delight at the amount ($60million USD) which the UNIDO has mapped out for investment in about nine sectors in the country. He, however, advised that instead of spreading the amount on so many areas it would be more beneficial to invest it in two or three critical areas that would be more impactful to the needs of the people.
“Sixty million USD is a huge amount of money. But it is not the money that is the issue but how it is being used. My thoughts are that instead of spreading this money thin over a large area, as you said, why not use it on one or two projects that could be impactful to the people”, he said suggesting that the money could be invested in a massive industrial complex “that becomes an example in Africa”.
Earlier in his remarks, the leaders of the delegation and Representative to ECOWAS and Regional Director, Nigeria Regional Hub, Mr. Jean Bakole, had informed the Minister that UNIDO planned to invest about $60 Million in Nigeria in nine critical areas including Agriculture and Agro-based businesses, Trade and Capacity Building, Housing and Construction, Infrastructure Development, Energy and the Environment, among others.
Also present at the occasion were the Minister of State, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu, the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Mohammed Bukar, Directors, Special Advisers and other top Ministry Official while the ECOWAS Representative was accompanied by top officials of UNIDO.Read More
The Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde RAjib Fashola SAN stated that Nigeria would continue to partner with the United Nations International Development Organisation, (UNIDO) and its affiliates for its socio-economic development
Fashola disclosed this today in Abuja when he received in audience the Representative of ECOWAS and Regional Director, Nigeria Regional Hub, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Jean Bakole and members of his team during a courtesy visit.
The Minister reaffirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was committed to developing and renewing the infrastructural deficit of the country for efficiency, growth and development. However He also said that Mr. President was always ready to embrace any policy geared towards improving the nation’s infrastructure.
Fashola however reiterated the commitment of the present administration to securing lives and properties growing the economy and tackling corruption all geared towards improving infrastructure and industrial development.
The Minister charged UNIDO to assist Nigeria towards her match for industrialization either in the area of manufacturing, or Agro production, stressing that Federal Government’s commitment towards that direction was already yielding result as most of her agro- products were being exported to both Northern and Central African region. He also disclosed that there were existing fiscal policies in Nigeria to give relief to producers.
Earlier, the leader of the UNIDO delegation, Jean Bakole stated that UNIDO had come to work with Nigeria and add value to its economy, pledging that UNIDO would give support in innovation, science and technology, research and development, agro business ,small and medium enterprises, minerals and metals and eco friendly environment.
He also stated that UNIDO was ready to partner with investors in the area of building, construction trade and capacity development in Nigeria.Read More
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr.BabatundeFashola SAN, has described the 2020 Budget as pro- people and pro-state saying it would drive development of the states andenhancethe well-being of the ordinary people.
Speaking when the Chief Executive Officer of TVC Communications,Mr. Andrew Hanlon paid him a courtesy visit in his office, Mr.Fashola said that the budget is pro-state because 85 per cent of the VAT being raised is going back to the states (and local governments) to take care of salaries and infrastructure investment, while the remaining 15 per cent will go to the Federal Government for the development of infrastructure.
Charging journalists and the general public to look more at the content of the Budget instead of the numbers, the Minister declared: “The budget presented yesterday, everybody is just looking at the numbers, and how many people are doing the analysis aside the number?”
Adding that, “We focus more on developmental infrastructure; a completed road is a development drive, completed airport is also a development drive, these are the critical contents embedded in the budget not just the numbers.”
He said that people should look at the clear statement of intent of the budget as pro-people budget of growing the economy, raising money and not hurting people through unfavourable tax regime.
He described the 2020 budget as laudable and charged TVC Group and other media organisations to do critical analysis of the budget to enable them bring out the message to the general public.
In his response, TVC Communications CEO, Mr Andrew Halon expressed the readiness of his organisation to partnerwith the Ministry in disseminatingquality news to the over seven Million viewers that watch their station on a daily basis.
He added that the organisation has invested a lot of money in infrastructure and human capacity development to improve on their services and make their channel more attractive to viewersRead More
Works and Housing Minister, Mr. BabatundeRaji Fashola, SAN has supported voluntary donation of blood, saying that blood donation is a binding factor ofhumanity.
Speaking during an advocacy visit by the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), the Minister stated that it was Government responsibility to ensure that there was always safe and screened blood availablefor emergencies.
He said: “I support voluntary blood donation because it is an asset we keep; we don’t know when we will need it.”
Mr. Fashola expressed satisfaction with the enormous responsibility of theNational Blood Transfusion Service and promised to draw Mr. President’s attention to what they were doing. “On behalf of my Ministry, government and Nigerians, I thank you for the leadership role you are playing for safety of human lives.”
Speaking earlier, the National Coordinator of National Blood Transfusion Service, Dr. Oluwatoyin Smith stated that the organization responsibility was to ensure that there was adequate supply of safe blood for use by all people.
She disclosed that because of the importance of the organization, Government planned to make it a full commission saying, “A bill to establishNational Blood Transfusion Service has passed its first reading and about to undergo the second reading very soon at the National Assembly.”
Explaining further, she stated that it was part of their mandate to sensitize and create awareness on the need for voluntary blood donation,pointing out that they collect blood from low risk population and screen it before transfusion.
She charged everyone to imbibe the culture of donating blood voluntarily, adding that, “everyone here is eligible to donate blood.”
According to Dr. Smith, the National Blood Transfusion Servicewas seeking collaboration withthe Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to enable itperform effectively in the advocacy drive for blood donation.
FASHOLA ALIYU AYADI MINISTERS FROM MEMBER COUNTRIES OF TRANS SAHARA ROAD LIAISON COMMITTEE INSPECT FEDERAL HIGHWAY PROJECTS IN KADUNA AND NASARAWA STATES
Hon Minister of Works Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN 2nd left Minister of State in the Ministry Engr Abubakar Aliyu left and Ministers from other Member Countries of the Trans Sahara Road Liaison Committee being briefed by the Director Road Sector Development Team of the Ministry of Works and Housing Engr Ishaq Mohammed right during the inspection tour of the ongoing construction work on the Expansion of 5 4Km of Abuja Keffi Expressway and Dualization of Keffi Akwanga Lafia Makurdi Road in Nasarawa State on Tuesday 12th November 2019
DINGYADI FASHOLA ALIYU AYADI OTHERS AT THE 70TH SESSION OF TRANS SAHARAN ROAD LIASION COMMITTEE TRLC IN ABUJA
Representative of His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari Hon Minister of Police Affairs Alh Mohammed Dingyadi middle Hon Minister of Works Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN left and Minister of State in the Ministry Engr Abubakar Aliyu right during the Opening Ceremony of the 70th Session of the Trans Saharan Road Liaison Committee TRLC hosted by the Federal Ministry of Works Housing at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja on Monday 11th November 2019