Federal Ministry of Works and Housing (FMWH) Federal Republic of Nigeria
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ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE, CATALYST TO THE NATION'S ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, AND ENVIRONMENTAL DEVELOPMENT – FASHOLA

August 26, 2022

Road Infrastructure, Catalyst to the Nation's Economic, Social, and Environmental Development – Fashola

The Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN said that road infrastructure promotes the nation’s economic, social and environmental development which has necessitated increased investment in road infrastructure by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Honourable Minister disclosed that while delivering his keynote address at the National Council of Works meeting at Bristol Palace Hotel in Kano, Kano State with the theme, “Infrastructure, The Season of Completion.”

Fashola reiterated that the theme of this year’s council is timely as it provides the opportunity for the Council to put policy framework that would create enabling environment to complete several road projects initiated by the administration of Mr. President as he completes his second tenure in 2023.

‘’The theme is timely as it provides the opportunity for the Council to put policy framework that would create enabling environment to complete several road projects initiated by the administration of Mr. President as he completes his second tenure in 2023. It is pertinent to note that the effects of road infrastructure on economic development, productivity and growth cannot be over -emphasized due to its impact at National, State and Local government levels,” he said.

The Minister disclosed that the success of the Nigerian government in providing road infrastructure will not be measured by the amount of funds invested but by the extent to which road infrastructure contributes to the nation's economic, social, and environmental goals.

Fashola noted that road infrastructure investment should be viewed as a means to an end and not an end itself.

“It is important to note the increased investments in road infrastructure which is evident by the number of completed roads and   the need to manage such investments sustainably.

The Minister revealed that the anticipated benefits of the investments in the road sector cannot be achieved without timely completion of the road projects as the theme of this year’s Council on Works reflects.

He noted that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari awarded several new road projects in addition to the inherited ones of which many have been completed and commissioned across the six Geo-Political Zones of the Federation while others are yet to be completed.

Fashola disclosed that  the investments of the Federal Government in road transport infrastructure has continued to impact positively on communities across the country as President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned the first phase of roads in the following locations: Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega-Kontagora-Makera Road, the Vandeikya- Obudu Cattle Ranch Road, the Nnewe-Oduma Road, the Kano- Maiduguri Road Section III (Azare-Potiskum) and the  Kano-Maiduguri Road, Section II (Shuwarin-Azare) connecting Jigawa and Bauchi States in the last quarter of 2021.

“The Federal Government also commissioned the second phase of road projects in 2022 which include: Efon-Alaaye Erinmo – Iwaraja Road in Ekiti and Osun States; Isoko Ring Road in Delta State, Hadejia – Nguru Road Phase II, Kirikasama – Nguru in Jigawa State; Gombe – Numan – Yola Road Phase II (Gombe – Kaltungo) in Gombe State; Nguru – Gashua – Bayamari Road Sections I & II, Phases I & II in Yobe State; and Lafia – Obi – Awe – Tunga Road in Nasarawa State,” he said.

The Minister noted that significant progress was recorded in road development in the year under review in line with the Ministerial Mandates set for the Ministry through the execution of many road projects spanning over 13,000km of roads and bridges nationwide and urged states and other stakeholders to compliment the efforts of the Federal Government in the development of road infrastructure in Nigeria.

He urged that we must maintain the infrastructure we build to preserve their live span and get the best value for the money spent on them.

He highlighted alternative funding options initiated by the present administration to tackle critical roads across the nation apart from the ministry’s budgetary allocation such as: Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund; SUKUK fund; Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme (RITCS); Multi-lateral loans/grants; Collaboration with other Government Agencies e.g The North East-Development Commission.

He urged the delegates to contribute meaningfully during the Council deliberations bearing in mind that their recommendations will have far reaching impact on Nation building that will help the highways to become safer and more comfortable for all and serve as means of sustained economic growth and development of our nation.

He also noted that the nation’s economy will be revamped and sustained through continuous and deliberate actions of government at all levels in completing all on-going projects.

He expressed his heart felt gratitude to the Kano State Government for accepting to play host of this year’s National Council on Works comprising all other states and other stakeholders, he thanked the governor immensely for that.

During his opening address at the Council meeting, the Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje thanked the Federal Government for the provision of various intervention infrastructure projects across the state looking forward for more of such interventions such as: the replacement of road intersections with flyovers particularly at various junctions connecting the ongoing Western Bypass Road and other road and housing infrastructure in the state.

Governor Ganduje noted that before the coming into power of the present administration, many Federal highway projects in the state were abandoned, but now they are receiving commendable attention from the Federal Government.

He thanked the Minister for accepting to host the Council meeting in Kano and assured all delegates maximum security and safety during their stay in Kano State.

While delivering his address, the Chairman House Committee on Works, Hon. Abdullahi Kabir Abubakar stated that this year’s theme “Infrastructure, the Season of Completion” is suitable and well timed because this is indeed a season of projects completion and commissioning in the life of this administration as it is determined to complete as many projects as possible, the projects it inherited and the projects it initiated are highly commendable.

He commended the administration for introducing many interventions such as: SUKUK, Highway Development and Management Initiative (HDMI) and the TAX CREDIT SCHEME to compliment the Ministry’s budget in providing funds to develop over 1000 contracts covering over 13,000km of roads across the nation.

Hon. Abubakar appealed to state governments, private organizations and government agencies to support the federal government in the area of compensation to local communities because delay by state governors to compensate the local communities for the Right of Way delays speedy completion of road projects.

The Kano State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructural Development, Engr. Idris Wada Saleh welcomed the delegates to the 28th Meeting of the National Council on Works and expressed gratitude to the Honurable Minister of Works and Housing, His Excellency, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN and His Excellency, The Executive Governor of Kano State for accepting to host this year’s Council on Works and providing the enabling environment for the event in the beautiful city of Kano “The center of Commerce” and wished all delegates fruitful deliberation and a peaceful stay .

During his closing remarks, the Honourable Minister of State for Works and Housing, Hon. Umar Ibrahim El-Yakubu opined that the recommendations made at this meeting will re-enforce our resolve to complete and deliver more infrastructure that will not only have far reaching impact on the socio-economic well-being of the citizenry but also generate employment and stimulate economic growth.

Hon. El-Yakub thanked the government and people   of Kano state for taking the responsibility of hosting the meeting.  He expressed profound gratitude to all delegates from the states, regulatory and professional bodies for their tireless efforts in making the Council a memorable and successful event.

The 28th Meeting of the National Council on Works was attended by the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing;   the Honourable Minister of State for Works and Housing, The Executive Governor of Kano State ; the Permanent secretary Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Commissioners of Works from States of the Federation;  Permanent Secretaries of Works from 36 States of the Federation and FCT;  Heads of Federal and States Agencies in the road sector, Heads of Regulatory and Professional Bodies, Representatives of the Federal Roads Safety Corp (FRSC) and Department of Roads Traffic Services (DRTS), amongst others.

FASHOLA COMMENDS KANO STATE GOVERNMENT ON INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT.

August 26, 2022

Fashola Commends Kano State Government on Infrastructural Development.

The Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN has commended the government and people of Kano State on their commitment towards road infrastructure development in the state.

Fashola gave the commendation when he paid a courtesy visit to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, OFR, at Government House Kano, during the 28th National Council Meeting on Works which held in Kano.

Fashola said that the Kano state government has made huge investment in road infrastructure development stressing how difficult it was to get to Kano during his first trip to Kano as a minister when the new government of Kano state came on board in 2015 at the peak of construction work but the result has become manifest and travel time within the metropolis has drastically reduced.

“I extend my commendation to your government for the commitment you have made in improving infrastructure of Nigeria by the investment you made in infrastructure in Kano State. I know how difficult it was in my first trip here when you took office in 2015. The State Government then, was at the peak of construction work but the result has become manifest. Travelling time within the metropolis is better, that is what infrastructure does to facilitate growth and development,” said Fashola.

The Minister revealed that Kano State has been at the forefront when it comes to issues relating to compensation on “Right of Way” during road construction by the Federal Government in the state, adding that the state government usually takes it upon itself and resolves compensation issues despite the fact that the law allows that the acquiring authority is the one obliged to pay compensation.

“When we have issues relating to compensation for “Right of Way”, Kano State Government has stepped forward to say that land is a state matter. Kano State Government will solve the compensation matter within Kano State and resolve it.  It is a good example which other states are expected to commend and emulate because by law land is a sub national and state matter.  The Law describes that the acquiring authority is the one obliged to pay compensation,” said Fashola.

Fashola publicly acknowledged the partnership Federal Ministry of Works and Housing has had by working with Kano State Government which he said has been very strategic and helpful to the mandate of the Ministry as directed by Mr. President.

“I just wish to publicly acknowledge the partnership that we have benefitted as a ministry by working with you personally and working with your government that it has been very strategic and helpful to our mandate by Mr. President,” Fashola said.

He added that the Federal Government is not competing with any state government, adding that it is the responsibility of federal government to support every state government to achieve its developmental objectives as conceived by the state government.

“We are not competing with any state; after all we are the federal government.  Our responsibility is to support every state to achieve its developmental objectives as conceived by the state government,” said Fashola.

Fashola thanked Kano State Governor for responding quickly when requested to acquire land to build a housing estate was made.

He also disclosed that coincidentally Kano State has the highest number of the Ministry’s projects in the country that it is not only by distance but also by budget and cost.  He mentioned the Kano –Maiduguri Road that ends in kano, the Abuja – Kaduna – Kano Road, the Kano-Katsina Road among others that the state is blessed with and it is strategic for the development of our country.

The Minister expressed his heart felt gratitude to Kano State Government for accepting to play host to this year’s 28th National Council on Works.

While responding to the Honourable Minister, The Governor of Kano State, Dr, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje thanked the Federal Government for investing heavily on road infrastructure and housing development in the state.  He noted that before the coming into power of the present administration, many road projects in the state were abandoned, but now they are receiving commendable attention from the Federal Government.

He acknowledged the good and working relationship between the Kano State Commissioner of Works and Infrastructure and the Federal Controller of Works Kano State Engr. Yahaya Ali, adding that it has helped to improve infrastructural works in the state.

He thanked the Minister for accepting to host the 2022 National Council on Works Meeting in Kano State and assured all delegates maximum security and safety during their stay in Kano State.

OPENING REMARKS BY THE PERMANENT SECRETARY, FEDERAL MINISTRY OF WORKS AND HOUSING, BASHIR NURA ALKALI, AT THE 28TH NATIONAL COUNCIL MEETING ON WORKS, HOLDING IN KANO, KANO STATE ON WEDNESDAY, 24TH AUGUST, 2022

August 24, 2022

Opening Remarks By The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry Of Works And Housing, Bashir Nura Alkali, At The 28th National Council Meeting On Works, Holding In Kano, Kano State On Wednesday, 24th August, 2022

Protocols

The Hon Com for Works & Infrastructure Engr Idris Wada Saleh

The PS Kánó State Min for Works and Infrastructure Arc Ahmed Salisu

Permanent Secretaries here present

President NSE here represented

MD FERMA

SOGOF
Federal Controllers of Works here present

President Surveyor’sCouncil of Nigeria

Directors from the FMWH and other MDAs both state and Federal

Reps of other agencies both state and federal

Members of the Press

Ladies and gentlemen

2.    I am pleased to welcome you to the 28th Meeting of the National Council on Works holding in Kano, Kano State which incidentally is also my home state. As you are aware, the theme for this year’s National Council Meeting is “Infrastructure, the Season of Completion”. The theme is apt and timely, considering the push by all governments at this point to complete and commission most of its roads and bridge projects initiated and/or inherited.

3.     Accordingly In order to ensure that the target of completing and commissioning of these projects is achieved, it has become necessary for all stakeholders to consider and provide creative and contemporary ideas and policy suggestions that will support the attainment of the above target. You may recall that a few weeks ago the National Council on Housing was also held in Sokoto where far reaching decisions were taken on sustainable development in the housing sector especially with a view to the provision of social housing and other related matters.

4. I must at this juncture thank our esteemed host, the Governor of Kano State, His Excellency Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, OFR (Khadimul Islam) and the good people of Kano State for the gesture of receiving us to deliberate on this crucial theme that was carefully chosen to ensure that the massive spending of public funds by governments at all levels in Highways and other roads infrastructure to ensure smooth mobility and access is duly accounted for through completed and commissioned road infrastructure across the country. It is of special note that the Kano State Government under his able stewardship has brought tremendous developments in the road sector that are worthy of emulation.

5. The Meeting is therefore significant as it will afford stakeholders the desired opportunities to identify some of the challenges in the highways and related sectors that could militate against successful completion and commissioning of roads in the country as this Administration winds up and to discuss strategies and possible practical solutions towards addressing them.

6. We are required to have the objectives of the National Development Plan 2021 - 2025 in mind as we look at ways of ensuring that road projects are completed and commissioned in order to galvanize national growth and sustainability. I am aware that our directors and other executives in the road sector have spent the last two days discussing these issue and these should form the basis for our discussions and our recommendations for the consideration of the council. Our recommendations should focus on restoring economic growth, the ease of doing business, local content utilization, investing in our people and creating a competitive economy through the availability of good and completed road network across the country. 

7. Distinguished delegates and officials, the timing of this meeting, therefore, is very auspicious as it affords us the opportunity to think through and make necessary arrangements as well as take critical steps to ensure that road infrastructure projects are completed, commissioned as well as maintained throughout their lifespan. This will also ensure that money spent on roads and bridges impacts on the Nigerian economy and the citizens positively.

8. Finally, Let me take this opportunity to thank all those other officials and experts who have made this council meeting a success especially the Hon Comm Kánó State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, the Permanent Secretary, Directors from the FMWH and other Federal and State MDAs, Our Dev Parners, the Local Organizing Committee, the Press and Security Agencies. I thank you most sincerely.

9. On this note, I once again welcome you all and wish us fruitful deliberations.

10. Thank you

ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF WORKS AND HOUSING, BABATUNDE RAJI FASHOLA SAN AT THE 27TH MEETING OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON WOKS

November 3, 2021

ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF WORKS AND HOUSING, BABATUNDE RAJI FASHOLA SAN AT THE 27TH MEETING OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON WOKS

PROTOCOL

It is my pleasure to welcome you all to the fourth day of this memorable event of the 27th meeting of the National Council on Works (NCW) being held in Bauchi State.

2.    Let me first express my profound gratitude to His Excellency, Senator Bala A. Muhammed CON, the Executive Governor and the entire people of Bauchi State for accepting to host the 27th meeting of the National Council on Works (NCW). This has demonstrated the mutual relationship and peaceful coexistence between the Federal and Bauchi State Government. The Bauchi State, "the Pearl of Tourism" is no doubt the treasure of the Nation considering its many beautiful tourist attraction canters across the State.

3. The theme of this year's Council meeting "Infrastructure Delivery, Maintenance Economy and National Prosperity" was carefully selected to alleviate the problems associated with lack of maintenance of infrastructure being provided by the Federal, State and Local Governments which results to huge money and retard the economy growth.

4.    Nigeria like other developing Countries is seriously confronted with inadequate resources for establishment of infrastructure which are essential for National Economic Development. Since the Independence, a large chunk of the country's resources has been channelled to infrastructure constructions including roads infrastructure. However, maintenance culture which encompasses provision for adequate care of hard-earned infrastructure is needed to ensure sustainability of these roads’ infrastructure for national prosperity. Experts have posited that if any nation can imbibe the maintenance culture in every sector of the economy, it will reduce cost and ensure national economic growth. Therefore, provision of adequate road infrastructure with a maintenance backup will no doubt help the government in saving more money to achieve National Economic Prosperity.

5.    The highly acquired capital infrastructure is not given adequate maintenance to enable it have a longer lifespan needed to support development efforts and thereby deteriorate to the point of starting afresh. Therefore, acquired infrastructure such as constructed road network, bridges, road signage should be properly managed and adequately maintained to ensure durability and enable them live up to their life span of 20 years of road construction.

6.    In prioritizing Maintenance culture in the road network with the goal of improving its 195,500 km road network of which about 60,000 km are paved while 135,000 road networks are un-tarred, the Federal Government and the States need to collaborate together along with investments from International
Finance Institutions and Public Private Partnership intervention in order to achieve the desired goal in Infrastructure Delivery, Maintenance Economy and National Prosperity.

7.    Therefore, the 27th Council is expected to provide policy frame work that will sustain concerted and consistent culture of maintenance on the infrastructure on ground and also build in maintenance policy in the future road projects to move the country to the next level.

8.    Kindly bear in mind that your recommendations will bear far reaching importance in Nation building and it is my prayer that our Highways will become safer and more comfortable for all and the nation's economy will be revamped and sustained.

9.    I urge you to contribute meaningfully to the deliberations here today which will not only enhance improvement in the road infrastructure but will also stimulate world standard maintenance culture in the Nigerian road system.

10.    Once again, I wish to express my profound gratitude to the Executive Governor and the entire people of Bauchi State for providing necessary provisions to ensure the hitch free of this year's Council meeting.

11.    Thank you all and God bless

FG REAFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO COMPLETE ALL ICONIC ROAD PROJECTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY

December 10, 2020

FG Reaffirms Commitment to Complete All Iconic Road Projects Across the Country

The Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Mr. Ernest Umakhihe has reaffirmed the commitment of the Federal Government to complete on-going iconic road infrastructure across the country.

The Permanent Secretary made this known this morning while delivering a speech at the on-going 26th National Council on Works in Port Harcourt, Rivers State which started on Monday, December 7, 2020.

Mr Umakhihe said, "The Federal Government is committed to completing some iconic projects such as the 2nd Niger Bridge, Bodo-Bonny Road, Abuja-Kaduna- Kano Express Way and Obajana-Kabba Road in Kogi State."

"In the same vein, Government is also committed to completing the Sukuk Bond financed roads projects across the six geo-political zones of the country and maintain schedule maintenance of 5,000 kilometers of roads annually."

He disclosed that the Ministry has over 700 on-going road projects across the country including road intervention projects in higher institutions of learning.

Mr. Umakhihe explained that the commitment of government was premised on the determination to reduce poverty by creating wealth through road infrastructure development in both rural and urban areas of the country, adding that the objective of this year's Council was to propose viable actions to impact positively on national economic development in the country.

Earlier in his address, the Rivers State Commissioner of Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi Esq stated that the Rivers State Government was delighted to host the meeting because the theme of the Council meeting echoed one of the policy thrust of the Rivers State Government, which is road infrastructure development.

Citing the saying of the Chinese thus "If you want to be rich, build roads first" the Commissioner said his state government was aware that every positive step taken in the area of road infrastructure development impacts on the entire nation and its citizens.

Tasie- Amadi further said the indices upon which the development of a nation is judged are based on the happenings in the states that make up the nation added that Rivers State Government was adding value to the development of the nation.

He said, "For every infrastructure project we embark upon, we are fully aware that these contribute to the National Economic Growth be it a state or federal project."

The Council meeting continues tomorrow with the meeting of Commissioners of Works in the 36 States and FCT to be Chaired by the Hon. Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN.

26TH NATIONAL COUNCIL ON WORKS KICKS OFF IN PORT-HARCOURT

December 7, 2020

26th National Council on Works kicks off in Port-Harcourt

The 26th National Council on Works has kicked off in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State Capital with the theme: "Road Infrastructure Development, Job Creation and National Economic Growth." The Council will end on Friday, December 11, 2020.

In his remarks at the opening ceremony of the technical session, the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics of Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Mr. Jide Ode- Martin's reminded participants that the meeting of the National Council on Works is the highest policy making organ of the Works Sector where stakeholders deliberate on critical issues concerning the sector with the view to proffering sustainable solutions.

The Director stated that the 2-day technical meeting of directors and other stakeholders would create a solid and resourceful foundation through diligent review of memoranda submitted by stakeholders and would be fine-tuned during the meeting of the Permanent Secretaries for presentation to the Council.

He called on all the participants to rise up to the occasion by contributing their best to deliver the assignment successfully.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Works Sir Clifford Ndu Walter who delivered the welcome address on behalf of the Rivers State Government said that the theme of the Council was apt and significant to the socio-economic development of the nation.

Sir Walter said: “Road construction opens the door for network of development at every level as it provides avenue for job creation that drives national growth.”

He added that the meeting would rejig and articulate policy that would guide the path of boosting durable road construction and infrastructural development especially as massive road construction is ongoing in the country.

He disclosed that his Ministry would ensure that very high quality of Works are maintained and works completed within record time as the state government would engage in the provision of road infrastructure especially bridges.

In attendance at the meeting were stakeholders from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, representatives of Federal Government organisations and the private sector.

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS BY THE DIRECTOR, PLANNING RESEARCH AND STATISTICS, MR. JIDE ODE-MARTINS AT THE TECHNICAL SESSION OF THE 26TH MEETING OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON WORKS 7TH-8TH DECEMBER, 2020

December 7, 2020
Director, Planning Research And Statistics, Mr. Jide Ode-Martins

Introductory Remarks By The Director, Planning Research And Statistics, Mr. Jide Ode-Martins At The Technical Session Of The 26th Meeting Of The National Council On Works 7th-8th December, 2020

Protocol

Permit the singular honour on behalf of the Organizing Committee, to welcome you all to the 26th Meeting of the National Council on Works on the theme:”Road Infrastructure Development, Job Creation and National Economic Growth” holding here in Port-Harcourt from today Monday, 7th – 11th December, 2020.

2.    As you are aware, the Meeting of the National Council on Works is the highest policy-making organ of the Works Sector, where stakeholders in the Works Sector deliberate on critical issues concerning the Sector with a view to proffering sustainable solutions.

3.    It is pertinent to highlight that the Council Meeting is heralded by a 2-Day Technical Meeting of the Directors and the Meeting of the Permanent Secretaries. The responsibility of the Technical Meeting of the Directors as you are aware, is to create a solid and resourceful foundation by the diligently reviewing the memoranda submitted by stakeholders and fine-tuning the recommendation made by the Meeting of the Permanent Secretaries for presentation to the Council.

4.    In view of the foregoing, I would like to urge all Directors present to rise to the occasion as usual. This is a task most of us here are very competent at and committed to doing year in year out. I am therefore, very confident of our ability to timely deliver on this assignment.

5.    At this juncture, I would like to assure you that all necessary logistics have been made to ensure the success of this year’s Council Meeting. The Secretariat is available to attend to enquiries and render any assistance needed.

6.    On a concluding note, I wish to express our profound gratitude to the Honourable Minister Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, the Honourable Minister of State Engr. Abubakar D. Aliyu, FNSE, the Permanent Secretary, Ernest UmakhiheFCA,fnim for providing the enabling environment for the success of this Meeting. I also appreciate the support of all Directors and entire staff of the Ministry whose efforts made today a reality.

7.    Once again, welcome to the 2-Day brainstorming Session preceding this year’s National Council Meeting on Works. I wish all of us fruitful deliberations.

8.    Thank you and God bless you all.

26TH NATIONAL COUNCIL ON WORKS (NACOW)

December 3, 2020
26th National Council on Works (NACOW)

26th_National Council on Works (NACOW)

ENSURING VALUE FOR MONEY IN NIGERIAN HIGHWAYS DEVELOPMENT BEING REMARKS BY BABATUNDE RAJI FASHOLA, SAN AT THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON WORKS, HELD IN KEBBI

August 16, 2018

Ensuring Value For Money In Nigerian Highways Development Being Remarks By Babatunde Raji Fashola, San At The National Council On Works, Held In Kebbi

On behalf of the State Commissioners and other Members of Council, I express the appreciation of the Federal Government of Nigeria to the Government and People of Kebbi State for hosting our Council Meeting and for doing so under very hospitable circumstances, in Birnin Kebbi.

Apart from being the home of famous Emirates like Gwandu, Yauri, Zuru, Argungu to mention a few, Kebbi State has come to the centre stage in Nigeria’s developmental history, especially at this time when Governor Atiku Bagudu is providing visionary, developmental and progressive leadership.

Statesmen, not big men, as former Governors, former Chief Judges have rallied around their Governor and Government to pursue a common goal of development.

From Agriculture, to Roads, Housing to Power, whenever it is partnership for Development, Atiku Bagudu will be found making the strongest case for why Kebbi must be involved. This remarkable and inspiring leadership must be acknowledged.

It is in this environment of developmental focus that we converge for the 24th National Council for Works to discuss development around getting “Value for Money in Nigerian Highways”.

Ladies and gentlemen, I found this topic appealing to this Council because of some of the assumptions that have been made about Cost of Roads in Nigeria, the questions I have had to answer, posed by people who ought to know, and because I hope to generate a more informed conversation about the matter.

It is my expectation that in each State, we will be sufficiently interested to interrogate issues like the source of value, where it lies and how to get the best out of it.

Therefore, I would like to start by asking the question why Nigeria has bad roads after almost a decade of prolific receipts from oil boom when oil prices were at $100 per barrel.

The answer is partly because we did not invest our money in Roads in the way that the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Brazil, to mention a few oil-exporting countries, have done.

To the extent that Roads are assets that live for longer periods of time and deliver collective National Benefit in terms of movement of goods and services and contribution to the GDP, clearly, it is doubtful that we got optimum value for those oil incomes between 2007 and 2015.

In other words, instead of investing our oil receipts in Roads, and long-term assets, of infrastructure, we spent the money on recurrent items of expenditure.

This is clearly discernible from the Annual Federal Budgets of that era, where the maximum provision for Capital Expenditure struggled to exceed 20%, when they seldom went beyond the threshold of 15%; and what was ultimately released by way of cash was scarcely ever in excess of 50%.

The result of these, of course was that by 2015 when I took office, there were over 200 roads whose contract values were in excess of N2 trillion and for which payments had only cumulated to about N500 billion.

Some of these roads had been awarded for upwards of 10 (ten) years. Inadequate budget and funding had delayed their completion. Many sites had been abandoned, workers laid off, equipment grounded.

This was where the Buhari Government picked up. With significantly lower oil incomes, we got the contractors back to site one after the other. We raised the budget size from N4 Trillion to N6 Trillion in 2016 and increased capital spending to 30%; which was funded by borrowing to finance the deficit.

For those who wanted roads to be fixed and those who did not want the nation to borrow, there is no middle ground. You either borrow to invest in tomorrow’s infrastructure at today’s prices, or wait until you can do it tomorrow at tomorrow’s price.

Our reality today is that the roads that were awarded 10 years ago and were not funded then have to be funded at today’s prices of money, interest rates, and at today’s prices of cement, iron rod, laterite and labour wages.

Clearly, we lost not only the value of money not properly invested, we lost value in the cost of doing business without good roads. We lost value in productivity by men and machine that became redundant.

While we cannot recover what is lost, we must not lose what is ahead; in this regard, I am happy to say that the Buhari Government is investing wisely and sensibly in the infrastructure that will drive Nigeria’s tomorrow.

From Rail to Ports, Power and Roads, this administration is resolute in its determination to complete ongoing or abandoned projects. Today, there is no State in Nigeria where the Federal Government of Nigeria is not executing one Road Project.

Hon. Commissioner has confirmed in his address Roads being executed in Kebbi. He wants more , the Buhari Government is ready to do more. It is in your hands to bring him back.

Undoubtedly, we have done more with less. This is the meaning of value. But there are other challenges that we must work together to improve upon in order to remove avoidable costs from Road and related infrastructure development.

A) Land issues, compensation, and court cases compound the cost of construction.

B) Conflicts, security breaches, pose risks to construction workers, which escalates costs in many ways, such as insurance, payment of security personnel, delays to project completion, to mention a few;

C) The absence of uniform Public Sector Procurement Prices;

D) Proper project planning, development and supervision;

E) Post-construction maintenance of scheduled and unscheduled natures to achieve asset life cycle expectation and performance; ( Bridges – Tamburawa, Tatabu, Third Mainland, Niger Bridge, Koton Karfe , Ijora, Isaac Boro).

F) Dispute resolution mechanisms as a means of achieving cost efficiency in road construction and achieving value for money, must be interrogated;

G) Government Treasury Operations and Payment Systems, review and reform will contribute to achieving better value for money in Road Development Project.

H) Increasing local content in Nigeria Road Construction and implementing Presidential Order 5.

Ladies and Gentlemen, these are only some of the items of avoidable costs around which we should have a conversation and a resolution if we are to achieve better value for money.

Each one of them is a full subject of debate in itself.

It is my expectation that many sections of the construction industry will rise up to the challenges inherent in improving each of the areas I have highlighted.

I make myself ready to contribute and participate upon reasonable notice.

Thank you for listening and I wish us very fruitful deliberations.

Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
Honourable Minister of Power, Works, and Housing

REMARKS PERMANENT SECRETARY, FEDERAL MINISTRY OF POWER, WORKS AND HOUSING, (WORKS AND HOUSING SECTOR), MOHAMMED BUKAR, AT THE 24TH NATIONAL COUNCIL MEETING ON WORKS

August 15, 2018

Protocols,

I am pleased to welcome you to the 24th Meeting of the National Council on Works holding in Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State.

2. As you are aware, the theme of this year’s National Council Meeting is “Ensuring Value-for-Money in Nigerian Highways Development”. The theme is apt and timely, considering our collective resolve to address the challenges in road development in the country within available resources.

3. In order to ensure that this target is achieved, it has become necessary for all the critical stakeholders to consider and provide contemporary policies that will support the attainment of the above target.

4. It is quite instructive that the theme was carefully chosen to ensure prudent spending of available financial resources in Highways development in the country due to the huge investment governments at all levels are making in road development.

5. The Meeting is significant as it will afford us the desired opportunities to identify challenges in the highways sector and develop strategies towards addressing them.  We are therefore, expected to explore various realistic means of proper utilization of funds and other resources meant for road projects, to enable quick service delivery, which in turn will fast-track national growth and sustainability. May I also stress on the need to ensure that all our recommendations align with the objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of 2017-2019 which focuses on restoring economic growth, ease of doing business, investing in our people and creating a competitive economy.  The achievement of these objectives largely lies on the availability of good road network across the country.

6. Distinguished delegates and officials, the timing of this meeting therefore, is very significant as it affords us the opportunity to think through and make necessary provisions in our various Budgets for the year 2019 and beyond as well as take necessary steps that will ensure money spent on roads impacts on the Nigerian economy, positively.

7. On this note, I once again welcome you all and wish you fruitful deliberations.
8. Thank you.

REMARKS BY THE DIRECTOR, PLANNING, RESEARCH & STATISTICS, FEDERAL MINISTRY OF POWER, WORKS & HOUSING (WORKS & HOUSING SECTOR), DR. FAMOUS S. ESEDUWO

August 13, 2018

Introductory Remarks By The Director, Planning, Research & Statistics, Federal Ministry Of Power, Works & Housing (Works & Housing Sector), Dr. Famous S. Eseduwo At The 24th National Council Meeting On Works At Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State

INTRODUCTION

Let me start by appreciating God all-mighty for making this 24th National Council Meeting on Works, holding here today at the Presidential Lodge Conference Centre, Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State, a reality. As the coordinator of the Ministerial Planning/Organizing Committee for this important perennial event, I also joined the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Kebbi State in welcoming you to this week-long meeting with the theme, “Ensuring Value-For-Money in Nigerian Highways Development”.

I wish to also express our sincere gratitude to his Excellency, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, the Executive Governor of Kebbi State, the government and good people of Kebbi state, for providing the enabling environment for this year’s National Council Meeting On Works.

I like to also appreciate our Honourable Minister Of Power, Works & Housing, His Excellency, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, the two Honourable Ministers of State, Power, Works & Housing, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri and Surv. Suleiman Hassan Zarma, mnis, as well as the Permanent Secretary, Mohammed Bukar, the directors and staff of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works & Housing (Works & Housing Sector) for their invaluable support in bringing together this meeting. 

The Nigerian highways development problems are numerous and road is a common good that requires a going concern of everybody. As man cannot live without food, almost at the same scale, man cannot live without road, comfortably. We use road every day virtually for everything that keeps us going. 

This underscores government’s continuous efforts to fix highways within available resources over the years. The rationale for this national council meeting on works, therefore, is to identify the unsettling challenges in the road sub-sector and come up with implementable strategies towards improving highways development in Nigeria within available financial, human and material resources.

Permit me to refresh our memories that the National Council on Works is the highest policy-making and advocacy organ in the Works Sector and as such, the stakeholders converged every year to deliberate on issues concerning road infrastructure. This is exactly why we are gathered here today. Thus, we are expected to kick-start the technical sessions any moment from now through the thematic group discussion methodology. The thematic groups were thought out of the memoranda received and summarized for this meeting. We have carefully broken down this year’s theme, “Ensuring value-for-money in Nigerian Highways Development” into five thematic areas which the chairman of the 1st technical session will announce to us very soon.

The National Council Meeting on Works, of a fact, is an inclusive approach to highways policy formulation, aimed at providing practical solutions to the existing road infrastructure development challenges in our country. This year’s thinking is to be guided by the perspective of “value-for-money”.

Let me on behalf of the planning/organizing committee sincerely apologize for any initial inconveniences you may have encountered on your arrival to Birnin-Kebbi, relating to issues ranging from hotel accommodation to intra-city transportation. Such challenges are often normal when a large number of persons visit a city for a programme. Nonetheless, please bear with us because it was due to circumstances beyond our control.

I want to assure you that all necessary arrangements have been put in place to ensure the success of this year’s council meeting. As we progress with the meeting, some of the preliminary challenges will sort out themselves. The secretariat is available for any possible assistance 24/5.

Please open your folders and flip through the programme to be acquainted with the sessions we intend to have from today to Thursday as well as the memoranda for the thematic group discussions and possible recommendations.

Once again, I welcome you to the thinking platform of this year’s national council meeting on Works which we are expected to deliberate on the summarized memos today and tomorrow towards making recommendations to the meeting of Permanent Secretaries holding on Wednesday.

Thank you and wishing you productive deliberations.

WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE PERMANENT SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF WORKS AND TRANSPORT, KEBBI STATE

August 13, 2018

Welcome Address By The Permanent Secretary, Ministry Of Works And Transport, Kebbi State On The Occasion Of  The 24th National Council On Works Meeting In Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State

On behalf of His Excellency, the Executive Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, Matawalen Gwandu and hospitable people of Kebbi State, I humbly welcome here in Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State, “The Land of Equity”.

2. The theme of this year’s meeting is “Ensuring Value for Money in Nigerian Highways Development”, which literally means optimal use of resources to achieve the intended outcome.

3. A limited perception of the benefit derived from the huge investment in Highway projects, believes that, the ends will not justify the means, in terms of resources invested and the intended outcome.  However, a wider perception of it shows that the benefit involved is numerous, among which are the following:-

(i) highway projects enhance free movement of people, goods and services, thereby fostering economic, cultural, agricultural and political development;
(ii) Highway projects, link various communities, regions and nations, thereby enhancing regional and international relationship;
(iii) Highway projects, promote peaceful co-existence between various communities, thereby enhancing social development.

This is to mention just a few.

4. The theme seeks for the use of technical knowledge and methods to achieve qualitative works on all Highway projects, ensuring value for money.

5. At this juncture, I would like to commend His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu for hosting this important meeting for the first time in the history of the state.

6. The Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, His Excellency, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, also needs to be commended for approving the hosting right to Kebbi State.

7. The Organizing Committee of Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing will also not be left behind in the commendation for selecting a theme that encompasses all spheres of life, as no matter how small a business may be, one needs value for his investment.

8. As for the delegates, I wish you an interesting and fruitful deliberations and also call upon you to feel free and visit historic places in Kebbi State, being a home to two famous international festivals of fishing in Argungu and Uhola in Zuru.

9. Once again, I welcome you all to the 24th Meeting of National Council on Works.

GOD Bless Kebbi State
GOD bless Nigeria.

THANK YOU   

NATIONAL COUNCIL ON WORKS (NACOW)

August 7, 2018

 

National Council on Works (NACOW)

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