After Emergency Repairs By FG, Fashola Approves Reopening Of Eko, Marine Bridges On Monday
* Minister thanks Lagosians for their patience, understanding, cooperation
* First Phase completed while work commences immediately on the Second Phase
After concluding urgently needed repair works on Eko and Marine Bridges in Lagos, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, has directed that both bridges be reopened to traffic on Monday, October 19, 2020.
The approval for the reopening of the completed First Phase of the repairs on the Bridges by midnight on Sunday 18th of October, which was given by the Minister on Friday was sequel to the report by the Contractor handling the projects, Messrs. Buildwell Plant & Equipment Industries Limited that the repair works on the First Phase had been completed 100 percent.
In his directives for the reopening of the Bridges, Fashola thanked Lagosians for their patience, understanding and cooperation while sections of the Bridges were closed also directed that members of the public should be informed of any restrictions to traffic while work is ongoing on the Second Phase of the project.
The Minister added that while the completed section of the Eko Bridge (Lagos Island Bound) should be reopened to traffic, work should commence immediately on the Alaka Bound side of the project.
Explaining further on the next phase of repair works on the Bridges, the Director Highways (Bridges & Designs) in the Ministry, Engr. Emmanuel Adeoye, said work was taking off without the need for either partial or complete closure of the Bridges, adding, however , that the public would be informed adequately should such a step become necessary.
The 1,350 metre Eko Bridge, built in phases between 1965 and 1975, links the Lagos Island to the Mainland. It was closed to traffic in March this year in order to replace faulty joints and bearings. But, as a result of COVID-19 lockdown, actual repair works commenced in the first week of June.
Work commenced in May on the first of the three phases in which repair works on the Marine Bridge was divided. The repairs on the Bridge, which is part of a network of complex bridges with several loops taking traffic in and out of the Apapa area of Lagos, included jacketing and skin repairs of the piers, lifting the bridge section deck in order to change the electrometric bearing, milling and placing a new wearing course of asphalt among others.
The repair works on the Eko and Marine Bridges is part of the ongoing Federal Government’s Bridge Maintenance Programme which involves the repairs and rehabilitation of over 37 bridges nationwide with a substantial number already completed while others are at different stages of completion.
Quality Engineering Education Ensures Delivery of World Class Infrastructure – Engr Aliyu
Minister of State for Works and Housing, Engr Abubakar Aliyu has stated that focus on quality engineering education will ensure the delivery of world class infrastructure in order to better the lives of citizens
The Minister was speaking as a Special Guest of Honour at the 18th International Conference and Annual General Meeting, (AGM) , of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE), which was held in Abuja, with the theme “ Reform of Engineering Education: A Strategy for Sustainable Development in Nigeria.
In his reaction to the theme of the Conference, he said “… it is only fair that we focus on quality engineering education in order to ensure the delivery of world class infrastructure to better the lives of our citizens”
Engr. Aliyu also explained that, it is only through a better adoption and adaption of Engineering that we can share in the good life that it offers in other climes, and this he said can solely be achieved through quality Engineering education
Accordingly, the Minister noted that Sub-Saharan Africa seriously lacks engineering capacity and relies heavily on imported expertise, which he said was attributable to insufficient output from training institutions, poor- quality education, and lack of practical experience among graduates.
He said that according to UNESCO landmark report on Issues, Challenges, and Development Opportunities, Nigeria produces 3,500 engineers a year, a modest number relative to its population, but suffers significant unemployment among them because of the lack of the requisite training.
However, the Minister assured the delegates that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, in line with its change mantra, is committed to development of the engineering profession considering its critical role in bringing about sustained economic growth.
He added that this administration has heavily invested on Research and Development generally and particularly on engineering education, however only modest achievement was made due to challenges that are huge but not insurmountable.
He also pointed out that synergy and harmonization of programmes, cooperation and collaboration can link Nigerian engineers’ consultancy services to global practices and marketing frameworks
Earlier, in a welcome address, the National Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE), Engineer, Mrs Aishatu Aliyu Umar stated that the annual Conference which is the second in her tenure is exceptional to Civil engineers who gathered from different sectors of the economy to deliberate on the sustainable ways to enhance the profession.
She added that the conference is also an opportunity for the engineers to individually analyse their performance, asses impact and restrategise on ways to practice the profession for sustainable development of the nation
Engineer Umar described the 2020 theme as well thought out considering the fact that the World is being reshaped for better technological advancement and Nigeria cannot continue to be left behind.
While delivering an opening address, the President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, (NSE), who was also the Chairman of the occasion, Engineer Babagana Muhammed described the annual conference and AGM as a gathering of professional engineers for the advancement of engineering practice in Nigeria in line with the global best practice.
Engineer Muhammed urged engineers to talk to stakeholders in their respective states on the water bill so as to give it the necessary support that will be in the interest of the people. He charged Nigerians who have the wherewithal to give back to society especially those that enjoyed free education.
Among the dignitaries that graced the occasion were: Engineer Umaru Bago Tafida, the Emir of Lapai and Royal Father of the day, Engineer Alimasuya Rabiu, President of COREN, Michael Jiang Yigao, Chairman/MD CCECC, Engineer Chris Okoye, Chairman/Principal Consultant CCGE Ltd
Text Delivered By H.E, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN At The Commissioning Of Woodhill Estate Under Akacare Cooperatives, And Flag-Off Of Cooperative Housing Development, Kuje, FCT, Abuja
Welcome one and all to the commissioning of Woodhill Estate of AKACARE Cooperative Housing Scheme and the flag-off of our cooperative housing initiative, one of the series that will happen in each of the six (6) geo-political zones of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory.
One of the NEXT LEVEL commitments of the Federal Government of Nigeria as declared by President Buhari at the ministerial retreat held in September 2019, is to deepen access of Nigerians to affordable housing and consumer credit.
This is a mandate item of the housing sector of the Ministry of Works and Housing; as the policymaking arm of government, and we have assigned the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) a parastatal of the Ministry of Works and Housing, the implementation responsibility for executing our policy of PARTNERSHIPS with cooperatives.
For those who may wonder, why cooperatives? The answer is simple.
By definition, co-operatives are "an autonomous association of persons united VOLUNTARILY to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned enterprise.”
The key word in that definition is the "voluntary" nature of cooperatives, and this is critical in the formulation of our policy of partnerships with cooperatives as a means of overcoming the problems of "Acceptability" and affordability that stand in the way of access to housing.
This is important because our experiences, our investigations and our observations reveal starkly that there are hundreds of thousands of empty and unoccupied houses in major cities across Nigeria.
They are empty and unoccupied because they are either over-built, in being too big, or under-built in being too small and therefore not acceptable to those who need them, because in many instances no consultation took place between the builders and the consumers they built for.
This is why we are undertaking a pilot scheme based on our studies to build in 34 states who provided land, what the people we consulted said they will find acceptable.
Because of the lack of consultation and acceptability problem, the problem of affordability creeps in.
Our policy development team finds the voluntary nature of cooperatives very useful because members will be expected to design and build according to their needs and their income, as they find affordable.
Co-operatives have traditionally proved to be successful in areas like transportation, agriculture, trade and commerce, market associations and amongst large groups in the informal sector.
It is these large members of the informal sector that we seek to reach, scale up constructions of houses and the multiplier effects on the economy for cottage industries who make building materials like paint, doors, roofing materials, nails, and electrical fittings to mention a few.
The scale of construction by voluntary associations is expected to ramp up employment and income for artisans who will build houses. This will be our contribution to President Buhari’s commitment to raise a hundred million out of poverty in a decade.
As in other sectors, when cooperatives have been successful, we can point to modest successes of partnerships by FMBN with some cooperatives in the formal sector that currently has 52 housing projects under construction to deliver 4,624 units in 2020.
It is this number, that the policy we flag-off today seeks to multiply in many fold by unleashing the power of cooperatives and empower their voluntary will to act together in pursuit of the common desire to access housing and credit.
In order to be eligible, cooperatives must be registered, they must acquire their own land, get title to it, seek and obtain a building permit from the governments of the respective states where their land is located.
This last requirement is instructive because it seeks to eliminate incidents of unapproved buildings and slums which governments later seek to demolish.
All the state government agencies in charge of land have been duly briefed at the National Council launch meeting held in Abuja on November 7th 2019.
The Mandate and the role of the FMBN is to then provide construction funding to the cooperatives to build the houses, and to provide mortgage finance to the individual members to buy the house and pay back in instalments at a rate not exceeding 10% per annum.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the sum and substance of the policy and partnerships that bring us to Kuje, in the FCT today because AKACARE cooperative has embraced this NEXT LEVEL initiative to deepen access to housing and consumer credit.
It is therefore my honour and pleasure to flag off this cooperative partnership in the hope that it will quickly spread to other states in this Geo political zone.
As every cooperative chooses what it desires and can afford, the FMBN, representing the Federal Government of Nigeria will be your partner, providing financial support to enable you to act voluntarily to choose and build what you accept and your income can afford.
On behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government of Nigeria, I commission this Housing Estate and flag off this co-operative development away from poverty and towards common prosperity.
Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
Honourable Minister of Works and Housing
FASHOLA INSPECTS ONGOING EMERGENCY REPAIRS OF EKO BRIDGE (PHASE I) IN LAGOS STATE
Hon. Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola,SAN (right) flanked by the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Engr.Olukayode Popoola(left) as he makes a point while speaking with Journalists shortly after an inspection of the Ongoing Emergency Repairs of Eko Bridge (Phase I) in Lagos State on Thursday, 8th October 2020
FASHOLA INSPECTS THE ONGOING EMERGENCY REPAIRS OF THE MARINE BRIDGE IN APAPA, LAGOS
Hon. Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola,SAN (left) joined by the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Engr.Olukayode Popoola (left) and Chairman of Buildwell Plants and Equipment Industries Ltd, Riad Abou Habib as he explains work being done underneath to Journalists during his inspection of the Ongoing Emergency Repairs of Marine Bridge in Apapa, Lagos State on Thursday, 8th October 2020