New Works and Housing Permanent Secretary Resumes
The newly redeployed Permanent Secretary to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Alhaji Babangida Hussaini has resumed office.
Alhaji Babangida Hussaini was Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence before his redeployment to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to take over from Mr. Ernest Umakhihe who was moved to Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
At a brief handing and taking over ceremony at the headquarters of the Ministry in Mabushi, Abuja, the new Permanent Secretary assured management and staff that his leadership will encourage team work anchored on mutual respect.
He said "We all come from different backgrounds with different experiences and perceptions but the objective is one; service delivery anchored around serving the people to achieve the agenda of the government."
Hussaini, who was the Director Special Projects Unit in the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing before his appointment as Permanent Secretary, recalled that he had worked assiduously with the staff of the Ministry under the able leadership of the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing,Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN.
He said that he would build on the successes, integrity and transparency entrenched in the ministry by his predecessor, Mr.Ernest Umakhihe, as no one was an island of knowledge in service to our father land.
Hussaini described his predecessor, Mr. Earnest Umakhihe as a friend, a brother and an adviser and assured all that he would add value to the achievements already recorded by him.
He further assured Umakhihe of continued cooperation and support. "We will be working together for the good of our nation because no man is an island, we must interrelate and interdepend on each other."
Earlier in his remarks the outgoing Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Mr. Earnest Umakhihe described his tenure in the Ministry as short and worthwhile. He said, "its being a short but worthwhile journey. I have learnt a lot from the crop of professionals we have here."
Umakhihe urged the staff to accord the incoming Permanent Secretary the cooperation that was given to him.
While wishing the incoming Permanent Secretary success, he assured him of his support, adding that they are pursuing the same purpose of achieving Mr. President's mandate for the country .
In a vote of thanks on behalf of the management, the Director Human Resources Management of the Ministry, Mr. Abdullahi Umar Utono assured the new Permanent Secretary of the cooperation and support of staff while wishing the former Permanent Secretary success in his new office.
Alhaji Babangida Hussaini, a seasoned administrator and technocrat attended the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA), Ahmadu Belio University, ABU Zaria and Federal College of Arts Suleija.
He served the nation in different capacities including working with international donor agencies. He hailed from Kazaure in Jigawa State.
Fashola Didn’t Speak At Any Event in Wuse 2
* Minister’s Media Office urges public to be wary of the antics of impostors
The Media Office of the Hon. Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN has dismissed as pure fabrication, a poorly written Press Release by one Ichie Daniel Ezeobi which he claimed to be a report from an event that took place in Wuse 2, Abuja.
Ezeobi who falsely claimed to be a media consultant to the “Federal Ministry of Works” had stated in the Press Release, circulated through the social media, that Mr. Fashola SAN spoke at a “public hearing lecture” in Wuse 2, Abuja where he allegedly cautioned a Senator and some Representatives from Anambra State for “taking credit for Federal Government sponsored projects/programs” to advance their political aspirations.
In a Press Release signed by the Special Adviser, Communications to the Hon. Minister, Mr. Hakeem Bello, the Media Office explained that the Minister spoke at no such event in Wuse 2 and the Ministry of Works and Housing organized no such strange event called a *“public hearing lecture’’.*
It also noted that the Ministry has no Media Consultant called Ichie Daniel Ezeobi and implored members of the public and the Press – Print, Electronic and Digital - to be wary of the antics of impostors like Daniel Ezeobi.
Special Adviser, Communications
To the Hon. Minister
12th January, 2021
Ongoing Reconstruction of Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Road has Progressed Appreciably - Engr Adebiyi
The ongoing reconstruction work on the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano road project has been progressing appreciably and would be completed in the life of this administration.
Engr Funso Adebiyi, the Director Highways Construction and Rehabilitation in the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing stated this during the ongoing visit to the project site to assess the progress of work on the project
"We are satisfied with the quality of work going on and we are working to increase the pace of the work. You can see that work is going on simultaneously on all sections of both lanes of the dual carriage 375km longroad from Abuja-Kaduna- Kano" he said
Adebiyi explained that the work was initially for rehabilitation but now full reconstruction work is ongoing. He appealed to Nigerians to be patient with the government in it's commitment to deliver a qualitative work that would stand the test of time
Similarly, he also appealed to the road users to bear the discomfort being experienced everyday as a result of blockages and diversions, pointing out that it was a necessary action in a construction work of such magnitude above all on such busy road with high traffic volume and axle load.
On the level of work done so far, Engr Adebiyi said " we have made a lot of progress. You can see that over 100km though not at a stretch, have been completed under section one to three (Abuja-Kano) , 40km completed under section two (Kaduna-Zaria), and 70km completed under section three (Zaria-Kano)"
He pointed out that while some sections of the road are also at different levels of completion, palliative/remedial work are being carried out on the sections that are critically bad to facilitate ease of passage for motorists"
Reacting to the allegation of delayed work, Engr Adebiyi said "It is important that I correct the wrong impression by the people that work is not moving. We are working to meet up with the deadline and at the same time subjecting all the work to quality assurance test to deliver a good job"
He assured Nigerians of the commitment of the government to completing the work. " Government is desirous of completing this project , as such is not leaving anything to chance, that is why we are here regularly tracking the progress of work with a view to sorting out any identified challenges"
Engr Adebiyi stated that the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, San and the Hon Minister of State Engr. Aliyu D Abubarkar had demonstrated a strong passion to this project and others across the country in order to ensure the fulfillment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise of bridging infrastructure gap in the country.
On the speed of work on the road, the Director Bridges and Design, Engr Adeoye urged the contractor to increase the pace of work by deploying more men on sites to work simultaneously on both lanes
The team of engineers in the Ministry led by the Director Highways Construction and Rehabilitation, Engr Adebiyi were on a routine assessment inspection of the various ongoing road projects across the country in order to ensure quality work delivery and meeting the completion deadline
The team carried out an engineering measurement and evaluation of some key components in road construction among others ; storm water drainages, shoulders, right of way, concrete slabs, U-turns, culverts reinforcement pipes.
TheAbuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano roa reconstruction project was awarded to Julius Berger Nigeria Plc on 20th December, 2017 and the project commenced on 21st May, 2018 with the 36 months completion period
Keynote Address Of The Hon. Minister of Works And Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, San, At The 26th Meeting Of The National Council On Works With The Theme, “Road Infrastructure Development, Job Creation And National Economic Growth”
On behalf of the Federal Government, I convey the appreciation of the Ministry of Works and Housing to the Government of Rivers State and Governor Nyesom Wike, for Hosting this 2020 edition of National Council on Works.
The commitment to host this was made last year when the Cross River State hosted the 2019 edition and when nobody foresaw the outbreak of a devastating viral pandemic called COVID-19.
The impact of the disease on livelihoods and the global economy has led countries across the world into different stages of negative economic growth and recession.
The need to address the economic challenges has prompted countries and Governments to design and implement various measures and policies to keep their economies going and to reflate them.
The Muhammadu Buhari Administration developed and has started implementing an Economic Sustainability Plan, that incorporates and challenges Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to ramp up activities, inspite of COVID-19; in order to provide work, increase opportunities and sustain productivity.
The Ministry of Works and Housing, as a critical infrastructure provider of the Federal Government, is one of the focal MDAs assigned with responsibilities for sustaining and expanding the economy during and beyond the COVID period.
This in part explains the theme of this year’s Council which is, “Road Infrastructure Development, Job Creation and National Economic Growth”.
While the public looks forward mainly to the quality of the Highway pavement, the Government sees a larger economic impact of infrastructure and the way it helps to legitimately distribute wealth to the people at the bottom of the pyramid.
Road construction employs a large number of the urban poor, skilled and unskilled labour and vendors who depend on daily or weekly wages.
The lockdown period was a difficult period for them and it was not surprising that as soon as lockdown eased, the Agriculture Sector and Road Construction were the first to resume work.
Eleven (11) of the biggest contractors of the Federal Government were allowed to return to work in May 2020 in 26 states.
This was closely followed by the resumption of maintenance works in 92 different locations across 24 states by FERMA.
The Government then decided to increase the scope for local content, labour and materials by:
a) Advocating for the increased use of cement, stone and concrete which are all locally available
b) Advocating for the local production of Bitumen since we have large deposits of the raw material.
I am delighted to inform you that many of these policies are at different stages of implementation with consequences on the economy.
With safety guidelines for Social Distancing, face mask and sanitation issued to construction companies, construction work has resumed almost full time across the country even though the virus is still with us.
Although the Third Quarter GDP result is still negative at -3.62%, it shows growth in the following sectors:
a) Quarrying and other minerals production 41.81%
b) Cement manufacturing 11.96%
c) Construction 2.64%
With the sustenance of construction activities, a strong contribution will be seen on the road to economic recovery.
Regarding the need to use more cement, more stone and concrete, the Ministry had to produce a design manual for Rigid Pavement in consultation with all the stakeholders in the industry.
I am happy to Report that the Sub-Committee led by the Honourable Minister of State, Engr. Abubakar D. Aliyu, and the Director of Bridges and Design, Engr. Emmanuel Adeoye, have produced the first Rigid Pavement Manual for Nigerian Roads.
There could be no better place to unveil it than at the National Council for Works, where all State Governments and other stakeholders are present.
This should also form the basis for implementing the Government policy for more labour-intensive Road Construction to stimulate employment drive, and more use of locally available materials of stone, cement and concrete for improved economic productivity.
It is impossible to discuss roads and economic development without discussing:
a) capital appreciation of 30-40% that infrastructure provision adds to the value of land;
b) the supply chain of food, lubricants, construction materials like laterite, cement, Reinforcement (steel), Water, Energy (Diesel) that is positively affected by infrastructure;
c) the sub-specialities of subcontractors such as Lane Marking, Highway Signage and Electrical fittings,
all of which benefit from the Construction of a Road.
I am aware that all the States are executing one infrastructure project or the other and this is how it must be. I was in Rivers State recently to commission a Bridge project undertaken by the State Government.
Our collective National Spending on infrastructure will contribute in no small way to our recovery from recession, but also propel inclusive and beneficial growth.
Examples abound of the positive impact of the investment in infrastructure through a value chain of inclusive wealth distribution that is immediately activated when one of our construction sites utilises 5,000 trucks of laterites at N30,000 per truck.
Such a value chain would include the owner of the quarries, the operators in the quarries, the truck owners and truck drivers, among several others.
When one of our contractors also recently paid N500 million to his diesel suppliers, another inclusive wealth distribution value chain got activated or sustained.
In closing this speech permit me to highlight the challenges we still encounter in some states and communities with respect to claims for compensation, which hinder our contractors’ ability to work.
Challenges in the area of compensation require further collaboration and for States to play a lead role.
The need for an interactive forum between State Commissioners and Federal Ministry of Works, which will occur more frequently than the annual Council, as recently suggested by the Honourable Commissioner for Works from Kwara State will also hopefully be considered at this Meeting.
I thank you all for your attention.
26TH NATIONAL COUNCIL ON WORKS HOLDING AT PRESIDENTIAL HOTEL, PORT HARCOURT, RIVERS STATE ON THE 10TH OF DECEMBER, 2020
The Hon. Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), the Executive Governor of River State, His Excellency Barr. Nyesom Wike, the Chairman Senate Committee on Works, Senator Adamu Aliero and other dignitaries at the 26th National Council on Works holding at Presidential Hotel, Port Harcourt, Rivers State on the 10th of December, 2020
FASHOLA INSPECTS ONGOING REPAIRS AND RESTORATION WORKS ON THE THIRD MAINLAND BRIDGE IN LAGOS STATE
Hon. Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN (middle),Director Highways, Bridges and Design, Engr. Emmanuel Adeoye, (2nd left), Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Engr. Olukayode Popoola (3rd right), Joint Managing Director, Borini Prono & Co (Nigeria ) Limited, Dr Paolo Prono (3rd left), the Federal Road Safety Corps, Sector Commander in Lagos State, Mr Olusegun Ogungbemide (left) and others during the Inspection of the Ongoing Repairs and Restoration works on the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos State on Thursday, 14th January 2021