Federal Ministry of Works and Housing (FMWH) Federal Republic of Nigeria
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The Federal Government, has handed over the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) of a three-bedroom flat in Delta State to late Sports Legend Stephen Keshi.

The handing over was done at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Abuja on Thursday, September 29, 2022.

The Director/Head of Department, Public Building and Housing, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Arc. Solomon Labafilo, who handed over the C of O on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari gave the approval to redeem the promise made to the twenty-two (22) members of the 1994 Super Eagles Team from the housing units under the National Housing Programme in any state of their choice, adding that late Stephen Keshis family opted to have his allocated to him in Delta State, his home state where he was also laid to rest.

Arc. Labafilo added that out of the 22 members, 14 of them have been allocated houses with their keys, Title Deeds and Certificate of Occupancies handed over to them in any of the National Housing Estates of their choice across the country such as in Imo, Abia, Ondo and Bayelsa states, assuring that the remaining nine members are soon to receive their houses in addition to the entitled C of O as well.

Arc. Labafilo noted that President Muhammadu Buhari was magnanimously proud, satisfied and privileged to redeem the promise Nigeria made to these Patriotic Nigerians for winning the 1994 African Cup of Nations which had remained unfulfilled.

The Administration of President Muhammadu Buharis progressive ideals tailored towards improving human condition do not leave out the dead by so remembering the family of late Sports Legend, Stephen Keshi to receive the Certificate of Occupancy to his promised apartment.

Mr. Ifeanyi Mudabai, late Stephen Kechis uncle received the Certificate of Occupancy on behalf of the Stephen Keshis family. He expressed much gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for redeeming the promise after 28 years.

He also applauded the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN for his thoughtful initiation of this idea of fulfilling the promise through the National Housing Programme.

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...Calls for quick completion of road projects.

The House of Representatives Committee on Works has inspected the expansion of the 5.4 kilometers Abuja- Keffi expressway and the dualization of the 220 kilometers Keffi- Akwanga-Lifia- Makurdi Federal roads in the North- Central Geo-Political zone of the country.

The purpose of this on-the-spot assessment by the Law makers was to ascertain the level of job done and the compliance level of the contractor handling the project.

The Committee was led on the inspection by the Chairman, Honourable Abubakar Kabir Abubakar. He explained that it was part of their responsibilities to carry out regular oversight functions on critical infrastructure projects of the Federal Government in order to give value to the money spent on projects, pointing out that on this particular road project, government has spent billions of naira.

Speaking on the funding of the project, he confirmed that it is a joint funding arrangement between Nigeria and China. The project is being executed by the China Harbour Engineering Company limited through a Preferential Buyers Credit loan from Export -Import Bank of China (CEXIM) with about Eight-five percent of the contract sum being from China and Nigeria is providing the other fifteen percent counterpart fund of the contract sum, he said.

Taking the team on this tour of the project, the Chairman said that the project is very important as it connects the three states of Nasarawa, Benue and Enugu.

On the project performance he said: we have raised certain issues concerning some failed portions of the road and we have drawn the attention of the trio of the Consultant, Contractor and the Ministry to address all these issues. This he, assured will help avoid compromising standards, ensure quality and also enhance timely delivery.

Responding to the issue of the failed portion especially on the section ll of the project, the Ministrys Project Implementation Unit: Road Sector Development Team led by the Senior Project Manager, Engineer Usoh Henry assured members of the Committee that urgent repairs are going to be carried out as soon as possible, more so since the Contractor has been notified of the failed portions.

Speaking further on the project, Engineer Usoh said that the project is about 75% completed and reassured members of the Committee that the project was going to be delivered by April, 2023.

According to him, the project was divided into two phases in order to ease its implementation. They are, Phase l; which is the dualization of Keffi- Akwanga- Lafia- Makurdi road and the Phase Il, the dualization of Makurdi-Otukpo- Obollo Afor-Enugu Road.

Speaking about the quality of job done, Engineer Usoh said that the Contractor has been closely supervised as it is mandatory for all multi- laterally funded projects such as this road project requires. He said that an Independent Consultant has being on site carrying out an unbiased supervision, monitoring and control of the project adding that the China EXIM Bank had also engaged its own Supervision Consultants to play their roles in accordance with International best Practices.

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The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN has charged serving and newly posted National Youth Service Corp Members and Industrial Training Students to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to be diligent and committed to their duties while in the Ministry.

The Minister gave the charge during the first ever organized Induction/ Orientation Training Workshop for Corp Members and Industrial Training Students at the Ministrys Headquarters, Abuja.

Mr. Fashola who was represented by his Special Adviser on Strategic Coordination and Administration, Mrs. Motunrayo Alimi also encouraged them to crave for more knowledge and appreciate the experiences garnered during their stay in the Ministry, advising them to make their voices count in their different departments and units in the appropriate manner that would not go against the rules of the Ministry.

The Permanent Secretary, Mr. Bashir Nura Alkali, while declaring the training open said that the induction course was to familiarize the participants with the operations and core values of the Civil Service as well as the processes, procedures, structure, functions and mandate of the Ministry to enable them understand the ministrys work environment.

Mr. Alkali also commended the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN and the Minister of State, Hon. Umar Ibrahim El-Yakub on the initiative to organize this first ever induction course in the Ministry, adding that the training would introduce them to the general operations of the Ministry and also provide them with ideas that could be of assistance in their future endeavors.

He urged them to maintain positive attitudes assuring them that the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing was poised to reward hard work and good behavior.

On his part, the Director Human Resources Management, Aliyu Abdullahi commended the Management of the Ministry for organizing the training workshop, saying that the Ministry places high premium on training of Staff.

He said that the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing has over five hundred (500) Corp members serving in the Ministry and that this shows that the Ministry is a good starting ground for the nations young graduates. To whom much is given, much is expected. We are going to give you the best, so we expect much from you, he said.

On behalf of the Corp members, Miss Boluwatife Ajayi of Press and Public Relations Unit of the Ministry commended the Management for organizing the induction training and assured that they would make good use of the experiences acquired during the training.

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President Muhammad Buhari has once more reaffirmed his Administrations Commitment to infrastructural development. The reaffirmation was made during the commissioning and handover of the completed 66 .10Km Gombe Kaltungo Road at Kumo Town, Gombe State.

President Buhari who was represented at the occasion by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Issa Ali Ibrahim Pantami observed that his administration has given priority to infrastructure development starting from road, to rail line and broadband development.

Mr.President disclosed that the FG has embarked on the National Information and Communications Technology Infrastructure Backbone Phase 2. Also about 400 Million US dollars has been planned for the project which will commence from Abuja to Borno State.

He said that his administration has given approval for the construction of the rail line from Borno to Rivers State, adding that the rail line was an area that lacked attention before the advent of this administration.

The Executive Governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya praised the Federal Government for the completion of the Kaltungo-Gombe Road Project.

The Governor observed that the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing had successfully completed several roads to ensure that road users have a rewarding travelling experience.

He added that the Gombe - Kaltungo Road Project had created jobs directly and indirectly as well as provided social economic benefits to the people.

Works and Housing Minister , Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN who was represented by the Director Highways North East in the Ministry, Engineer Celestine Shausu disclosed that the road is the sixth to be commissioned in the second phase of highway projects completion and commisioning.

He said, This is the second phase of project completion and handover our country will be witnessing as we progress further in this season of completion and impact which started in the last quarter of 2021, said Fashola.

The Minister recalled the completion of Efon Alaaye - Erinmo Iwaraja road in Ekiti, Isoko Ring Road Section II covering Aviara- Uzere in Delta State, Phase II of Hadejia - Nguru Road covering Kirikasama - Nguru in Jigawa State, Nguru - Gashua- Bayamari Road in Yobe State and Lafia - Obi Awe - Tunga Road in Nassarawa State that were completed in the last quarter of 2021 which he described as major investments in road transport infrastructure that serve as drivers for economic growth and prosperity.

The Minister said these completed roads are viable assets in proof of what the countrys resources are invested in.

In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Bashir Nura Alkali who was represented by Engineer Amos Thomas stated that the Buhari led administration is focused on the completion of several ongoing road infrastructure projects to stimulate economic development, job creation and promotion of local content.

He added that government is also committed to linking the major arterial roads to refineries, ports, tertiary institutions and high volume commercial centres with a view to reducing travel times, vehicle maintenance costs, safety and security of commuters.

In his goodwill message, the Emir of Arko, His Royal Highness Alhaji Umar Atiku expressed appreciation to the Federal Government for the construction of the road project. He urged the people of the state to continue to support the Federal and State government and maintain peace and tranquility in the state by being law abiding.

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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 Ministrys 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 years 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.

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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


Federal Controllers of Works here present

President SurveyorsCouncil 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 28thMeeting 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 years 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

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The Federal Government has reiterated its determination to complete more highway projects across the country for the benefit of Nigerians and members of the Public before the expiration of President Muhammadu Buhari led administration.

The Minister of State for Works and Housing, Hon. Umar Ibrahim El- Yakub gave the assurance in Kano, Kano State during an inspection tour of phase one of the Kano-Katsina dual carriage way over the weekend.

El-Yakub said, We will give all the necessary support to ensure all road infrastructure projects across the country are completed so double your effort to deliver on time.

Hon. El-Yakub noted that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is known for investment in highway infrastructure development. The Minister added that road and other infrastructure development projects have generally gotten more boost from this administration than previous ones.

I believe that most roads and other infrastructure development projects in the country have gotten more boost from this administration of President Muhammadu Buhari who is known to invest in infrastructure development and to ensure completion of infrastructure projects that were started by previous administrations in this country.

The Minister stressed the need for the installation of road markings and signages on the already completed sections of the road for smooth and safe driving on the road.

I understand you have enough materials at your disposal to do the markings and the signages. We expect to see that is done because they are very essential in ensuring smooth and safe driving on roads, said El-Yakub.

He reiterated that the Ministry would not relent in ensuring that the quality of work on all road projects across the country are in line with acceptable

As the 73.10km dual carriage road project is now being funded by Sukuk, the Minister added that funding is no more a challenge. He promised the contractor that all the necessary support needed would be given for timely completion of the project.

The Federal Government has solved the funding problem by putting the project under SUKUK funded projects, he said.

The Minister of State encouraged the contractor to keep up with the pace and the quality of work on ground. He further urged them to intensify more efforts to complete the road project on or before the agreed completion date.

I can see the reconstruction work. You have achieved a lot. That is appreciable despite some challenges. The work will continue to progress. We intend to complete this road hopefully before the end of this year, but you said next year but I want us to challenge ourselves and try to finish the project before the end of the year because you have done more work, said the minister.

The Director Highways, North West Engr. Adetayo Taiwo said the road project inspected had progressed smoothly leaving no stone unturn.

The contractor has left no room for any form of condemnation, they are working the way they should work, he said.

The Project Engineer Messrs China Engineering Construction Company Ltd (CECC), Engr. Ren Shao Shuai said the project would be delivered on time. He added that they were working in line with the laid down specifications. He thanked the Federal Government for the opportunity to work in the country.

Another road inspected was the construction of a 38.7km Yakasai- Badune-Damargu-Marken Zaklli Single Carriage Way in Bichi Local Government Area of Kano State being handled by the same contractor.

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.... Reiterates Federal Governments Commitment to Infrastructural Development.

Works and Housing Minister, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN has inaugurated the 9 Member Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), today Tuesday 9th August, 2022, charging them to ensure that the ethics guiding the Engineering profession are upheld.

Fashola reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to the development of infrastructure. He said, As you are all aware our government has committed to infrastructure and as you all know infrastructure brings development to the country, it boosts our economy, it creates employment and it enables the nation to compete for continental and global space.

The Minister noted that members of the Engineering profession have been and will continue to play a significant role in this regard and stressed the need for COREN to ensure that professionalism is at its peak. He charged them to uphold the moral and ethical standards of the profession, adding that true professionals always do the right thing no matter the situation and will not compromise standards in the face of pressure.

One of the Council members and immediate past President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engineer Babagana Mohammed said the new Council members are coming with a lot of experience and dedication to protect the ethics and standards of the Engineering profession.

He said, we are going to emphasize on the dos and donts because so many things are happening. Some people do not understand the regulations, so we need to make people understand and obey the regulations.

He added that it will form the focus of the ongoing conference of COREN.

Speaking in the same vein, another member, Professor Zekeni Robert Yelebe who gave the vote of thanks on behalf of the Council members praised the infrastructural drive of the Buhari administration and pledged that they will ensure that standards are upheld in the profession.

He said, We can see that this government is serious in terms of infrastructural development and as a Council, we will make sure that engineering activities especially infrastructural development is done with all engineering ethics.

He added that the Council will also look at the curriculum of institutions offering Engineering courses to see if there is need for changes or improvements to be made.

He disclosed that accreditation issues will also be appraised to ensure that the products of the Engineering Institutions can compete with their counterparts in any part of the world.

The newly inaugurated Council Members are: Dr. Muhammed Danlami Jibrin, representing North West, Dr. Idiat Ibironke Arogundade, representing the North Central, Professor Baba Shehu Waziri, representing the North East, Professor Zekeni Roberts Yelebe, representing the South South and Professor Gabriel Obafemi Shonaike, representing the South West.

Others are: Engineer Babajide Ojedele representing the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Ademola Isaac Olurunfemi also representing the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Engineer Tasiu Wudil and Engineer Babagana Mohammed both representing the Nigeria Society of Engineers.

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The Honourable Minister of Works and Housing Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN has assured Nigerians that steps are being taken to provide a permanent solution to completion of section 4 of the East West Road measuring 15 kilometres from Onne Port junction to Eleme Port junction in Rivers State.

The Minister gave this assurance during a meeting with the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Umana Okon Umana in his office at the Ministrys Headquarters in Mabushi, Abuja on Thursday, August 4,2022.

Due to public concerns the Niger Delta Affairs Ministry who handed over the supervision of the road to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing early this year wrote to inform the Minister of Works and Housing of their decision to do some remedial works on the road through the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

However, based on advice of Directors from Federal Ministry of Works and Housing who inspected the road last month and discovered that its cardinal problem is lack of drainage, Fashola decided that a permanent and holistic approach should be taken so that the problem is put to rest because without the drainage whatever work that is done on the road will not last.

Already request for additional funding to complete the work has been sent to the Bureau of Public Procurement to obtain a Certificate of No Objection (approval) expeditiously so that the work can be completed.

Fashola assured the people of the area and other road users that the Federal Government is committed to the completion of the road as well as other roads across the Nation, this he opined is President Muhammadu Buharis Administrations priority to enhance impactful Socio-Economic development and therefore craved the patience and understanding of Communities along the East West Road axis.

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The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Bashir Nura Alkali, FCA, FCTI, has charged Nigerian Engineers to come up with resolutions that can lead to economic growth and job creation in the country.

He gave this charge while declaring open the 43rd Conference of Directors of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Departments of Ministries of Works and Housing in the Federation.

Alkali, was ably represented by the Director, Human Resources Department in the Ministry, Aliyu Abdullahi

The Theme of the Conference is Engineers as Catalyst for National Economic Growth and Job Creation.

He said Conversing about Engineers as Catalyst for National Economic Growth and Job Creation, the papers to be presented at this conference are to address issues bothering on economic growth and job creation

He also noted that Engineers need to start turning their ideas and inventions into marketable products and services through planning, designing, constructing, installing, commissioning and maintaining of infrastructures.

Describing the roles of engineers as prime and fundamental, Alkali pointed out that to alleviate poverty in Nigeria, the country would need a growth model that could generate adequate jobs for her citizens and it could only be achieved through industrialization.

Nigeria needs a growth model that can generate sufficient jobs for her huge population and also be inclusive enough to significantly curb poverty he said.

Accordingly, the Permanent Secretary stated that industrialization being a product of technologies and application of technological breakthrough could only be a reality through advancement in engineering.

He told the delegates that the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, has given the approval for the Ministry to commence the training of Artisans in the various Ministrys training schools, pointing out that the launching of the N-Power by the administration of President Muhammad Buhari and Special Public Works Programme has provided Nigerian youths job placement and empowerment.

In his welcome address, the chairman of the Conference and Head of Engineering Department in the Federal Ministry of Works, Engr. Valentine Nwaimo, urged delegates to come up with a workable communique that could be presented for consideration and approval at the upcoming Council on Works.

As the Conference progresses, I want to wish all of us a very fruitful deliberation so as to come up with a good communiquè that is worthy of presentation at the Council of Works which is the highest policy making body for consideration and approval, he said.

According to Engr Nwaimo, the Conference of Directors of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Department of the Ministries of Works and Housing of the Federation is an annual event where papers on a selected theme are presented and deliberated upon for the acceleration of Nigerias development.

He told the participants to utilize this opportunity to brainstorm on topical issues affecting the growth of the country in diverse area and come up with innovative ideas that could lead to economic growth, creation of jobs as well as stem the tide of corruption.

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The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing has organized a sensitization workshop for its directors on strict compliance with Asset Declaration Processes, Code of Conduct and the consequences attached to infringements.

Declaring the workshop open, the Permanent Secretary of the Works and Housing Ministry, Bashir Nura Alkali, said that the purpose of the workshop was to enlighten the participants on the provisions of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal and its application as they relate to Asset Declaration.

Alkali, represented by the Director Highways Planning and Development in the Ministry, Engineer Uzor Chukwuwinke Ogbona, pointed out that it had become imperative to organize the workshop because of the increasing cases of allegation of infringement of the codes by public officers thereby resulting to frequent invitations for questioning by the Bureau.

This has become necessary in view of the report of increasing cases of alleged breach of the provisions of the Act by our officers occasioning their invitations for questioning by the Bureau, he said.

Accordingly, he added that all the other levels of the officers in the ministry would go through a similar workshop because of the sensitivity and importance of Asset Declaration to public officers.

Given the importance and seriousness attached to the issue, the Ministry is determined to ensure that this enlightenment programme is cascaded to all levels of officers from the Directorate cadre downwards, he added.

Engr. Uzo implored participants to use the opportunity of the workshop to ask pertinent questions on issues that needed clarity, pointing out that the facilitators were experts in the field recommended by the Code of Conduct Bureau that could respond to these questions.

In his goodwill message, the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau, Professor Muhammed Isah who was represented by a member of the Bureau, Professor Samuel Ogundare, informed the participants that in a bid for government to ensure that public officers maintained a high level of integrity while discharging their duties, a set of codes have been established to guide them.

He explained that the codes specify the standard of integrity expected of public officers as well as how to meet them, adding that safety of public officers has been captured in the codes in discharging their duties.

The Chairman urged the participants to oblige the Bureau with suggestions from their experiences on how to minimize infringement of the codes.

It is also our wish that since most of you will be exiting from the service soon, you will share your experiences with us on how we can minimize the judgement in these codes,Professor Ogundare said.

In her presentation, Mrs. Ofor Ijeanuli, a Deputy Director from the Code of Conduct Bureau, in her paper presentation titled: Code of Conduct Act & Code of Ethics in Government Business, mentioned that there are fourteen codes synonymous to rules guiding the public officers of which Asset Declaration is one of them.

She noted that civil servants were mandated to declare their assets every four years within the period of years they are still in service of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, pointing out that failure to do that was an infringement.

Explaining further, Ofor stated that public officers are expected to submit a written declaration of all their properties, assets and liabilities and those of their unmarried children under the age of eighteen years including their spouses that are not working.

Accordingly, she disclosed that, the Code of Conduct for Public Officers should serve as a mechanism for continuous self-assessment by public officers to meet up with public expectations, scrutiny and evaluation, noting that any property acquired in abuse of or corruption in office will be forfeited to the state.

It was a very fruitful discussion in which a large number of the Directors participated in with genuine questions asked and explicit answers given by the officials from the Code of Conduct Bureau in the Ministrys Headquarter conference room in Mabuchi, Abuja.

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Fashola said, If you dont give local contractors the opportunities, they cant acquire the experience and the equipment. I have pointed out some areas where I think the contractors can improve upon. They are not structural but aesthetics. So far so good the standard has not been compromised but to have some equipment for smooth finishing on some concrete works, they just have to improve. However, Mr. President is committed to engage local contractors. That is the purpose for Executive Order No.7, i.e. Local Content and Contractor participation on Road Infrastructure Development.

During the inspection tour of rehabilitation of outstanding sections of Iseyin- Okeho Road including two bridges in Oyo State, he promised the local contractor handling the road, Messrs. HMF Construction Ltd that when 2023 budget and 2022 Sukuk are being considered government would be able to accommodate the 4 billion naira needed by the contractor to complete the remaining part of the construction works on the road.

The Minister charged Messrs. Kopek Construction Company, the contractor on the reconstruction of Ibadan Ife-Ilesha Dual Carriageway in Oyo /Osun States not to stop work and to make some sections of the road motorable during the ember months.

While inspecting the dualization of Oyo Ogbomosho Road, he remarked, Relief will soon come the way of the road users, though the rainy season has slowed down the construction works on the project, the earthworks will improve as soon as the rains subsides.

He said dualization of the road is being funded through Sukuk and the NNPC Tax Credit Scheme for Roads, therefore, there wouldnt be funding challenge in delivering the road at the time due.

Fashola said the importance of road infrastructure cannot be underestimated as it affects our businesses, the number of times spent on the road while going to work or school and everywhere roads are built the land value appreciated. He enjoined commuters not to abuse the roads and maintain road speed limits when the roads are completed.

Oba Rafiu Adeitan II, the Onjo of Okeho who approached the Minister during the inspection visit within his jurisdiction, thanked him for the good job the contractor is doing on Iseyin- Okeho Road. The king pleaded with the Honourable Minister to include the road that leads to Ayegun border from his domain in the project because of the economic importance of the border to his area.

The Minister was accompanied on the inspection visit to the various projects in Oyo State by the Director of Highways, Construction and Rehabilitation, Ministry of Works and Housing Engr. Folorunsho Esan, the Zonal Director South West in the Ministry, Engr. Ademola Kuti and Federal Controller of Works, Oyo State, Engr. Kayode Ibrahim and others.

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Given that we are 20 Days to the formal commencement of campaigns for the 2023 general elections, this years annual lecture coming 170 days to the first of the elections in February 2023 provides a potential platform for many possibilities.

However, I have elected not to be partisan, and instead chosen to be even-handed, I believe this is the challenge, albeit self-imposed that the theme of the lecture now presents.

Let me start from the beginning about the 2023 general elections.

Shortly after the announcement of the results of the 2019 General Elections proclaiming the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari, and whilst the opposition petition in the election tribunal was still pending, I started hearing talk of 2023.

Initially I dismissed it as offhanded or, at the worst, isolated but it turned out that I was mistaken; it continued.

Therefore, long before the Presidential Election petition was resolved and before Buhari was sworn in for a second term in 2019, talk of the 2023 election, especially the presidential one, had started gathering momentum.

This is the context in which I present my thoughts about the 2023 General Elections and Nigerias democracy.

Therefore, you can see that rather than focus on what was going to happen to our lives as a result of the new mandate, now clearly won and lost as determined by the Election Tribunal, some were already thinking about the next election.

So, it should not surprise anyone when you hear rhetoric like: this will be a most defining election, this will be an election like no other, and so on and so forth.

But truth be told, this rhetoric is common in every democracy and at the onset of a new election cycle.

This is understandable because no two elections are the same; and the intensity always varies anyway as indeed the number of voters and sometimes the number of parties; and the novelty of some candidates.

Unlike economists who urge the probability that all things being the same, politics and elections draw their oxygen from the probability that things will not remain the same, especially if you are in opposition.

For example, young people who were by age not eligible to vote in a previous election, would have attained voting age at the next election cycle and become eligible to vote if they register.

In our current situation we now have 12,332,336 newly registered voters for the 2023 election, whereas there were 14,360,053 newly registered voters in 2019, while 6,944,752 registered as new voters in 2015.

So, if the hype about 2023 is anything to go by, the number of 12,332,366 newly registered voters does not support it, because it is 2,027,687 less than the 14,360,053 newly registered voters in 2019.

Obviously, we have seen all the hype before and they detract from the real question which in my view should be: how can democracy, especially the 2023 elections, make our lives better and our country greater?

I think we should focus on this question because we must remember that democracy is simply concerned about the popular participation in choosing a leader or set of leaders.

Democracy does not guarantee that the leader or those leaders will deliver or indeed are able to deliver on what we want.

Put conversely, what really is it that we expect from those we elect and what do they promise to do before we vote, and what have they done for us?

Did we vote for, or did we collect tricycles, sewing machines, generators etc. from them?

If we did, can we legitimately expect that the budget from which these things were procured will also provide healthcare, drugs and diagnostic equipment in our health facilities?

If they have sponsored weddings for our families, financed the burial of our dear departed ones or paid school fees for a whole community do we understand that these things or some of them are funded by the budget from which we also expect good schools, good roads and other public infrastructure and services upon which our prosperity depends collectively?

Put differently, how many of us who vote truly understand how the process works?

How many of our electorate understand what the actual constitutional roles of our legislators, Local Government Chairman, Governors, and President are?

These questions may look ordinary, but my experience in government suggests that they are not. I have been surprised by how unfamiliar some of us are with the constitution and our responsibilities, although I must concede that we are fairly well acquainted when it comes to our rights.

Truth be told, elections are only a part of the democratic process; and this requires not only the successful party to play their role in the formation and running of government, but the opposition as watchdog, and government in waiting, has an equally important role to play in enriching the process.

Governance in power is not easy, and I daresay opposition is even more hard work.

Let us ask ourselves when last an opposition party prepared and detailed an alternative budget to that of the party in government.

True enough, we hear criticisms of what the party in Government is not doing or getting right; but when I ask, can you recall an opposition party offering a credible and alternative solution to what the party in Government has done wrong.

To be fair I must acknowledge the generalizations such as we will do this and do that, but very often that is where it ends.

On the question of revenue or lack thereof for example and the borrowing by Government, apart from the legitimate concerns about borrowing which are rightfully expressed, I have challenged the critics to provide the alternative; and I am still awaiting a response.

If you listen to any of the several Morning shows the issue will come up and you will hear the criticisms, which are legitimate, but you will not get any credible answer to the question what are the alternatives?

The answer must lie somewhere between cutting waste, reducing the size of Government, raising taxes, stopping some programmes, projects or policies.

But who is ready to have these conversations in real politics?

This is something we must demand in the run up to the 2023 General Elections in order to sustain the future of our democracy.

Yes, democracy heralds freedoms including the freedom to speak. But what kind of speeches are we engaging in? Heckling, online trolling, hate and in person verbal abuse in some cases or talk about ethnicity or religion.

How do we resolve the revenue problem we have with fuel subsidy without leading to social unrest which the two dominant parties have not yet resolved, and the other contenders remain quiet about.

Why has parliament, where all the people of Nigeria are represented, not taken a bipartisan position on the matter after consulting with their constituents, the Nigerian people, and say that we have your mandate to do this or that about the subsidy.

Why can we not have a voting process that shows how each legislator voted, to show that the vote was the result of consultation with the constituents and ensure that they will re-elect the legislator again.

Why is it not a stipulation that our elected representatives live in our constituency so that they understand what we experience and present it for government attention.

Is this type of hands-on representation less important than the occasional goodies shared at seasonal meetings by absentee representatives?

When the campaigns for election to executive office starts and we hear of free this and free that, do we engage in a conversation about how much it would cost and where the money will come from?

After all, to use the cliche nothing is free even in Freetown.

When those promises do not materialize, are we complicit in their stillbirth by the lack of engagement or the quality of engagement.

Let me segue to another issue, to which perhaps we should pay attention, and this is the Federal Government.

In particular, I seek to highlight what I perceive to be a lack of appreciation of what constitutes the Federal Government and what her role is.

To start with, there is a lie that is being told and repeated and some are beginning to believe it, that we do not have a Federal type of constitutional governance partly because they think our Federation is not perfect which I agree with, but an imperfect federation is not the same thing as a non-existent Federation.

The truth is that the imperfection is probably one of the reasons why there are provisions for amendments in the constitution.

If a constitution provides that the federal, state and local governments have different responsibilities and some shared responsibilities as our constitution does in the exclusive and concurrent list of the second schedule and the fourth schedule, I think the minimum requirements of federalism have been met.

Whether the states or local governments should get more powers, lies with us to exercise the amendment in a process requiring federal legislators to initiate it and 2/3 of the states to concur with it.

If that has not happened, it seems to me that it does not extinguish the existence of a federal arrangement, neither is it solely the fault of one person such as the president or the federal government.

This brings me to the heart of the matter about our understanding of the Federal Government.

Not infrequently, I have heard some federal legislators laying the blame of some failing or the other on the Federal Government, when in fact what they probably intended is the Federal Executive arm of the Federal Government.

The fact is that the federal judiciary, legislative and executive all constitutes one Federal Government operating in three arms.

If we decompose the constituents of the federal government, it will become obvious that it is all of us, the states, through our representatives who make up the federal government.

For example, in the Federal Executive arm of Government, the election of the president and vice president only represents a partial composition of the federal executive. By virtue of section 147 (3) of the constitution, ministers must be appointed from each of the 36 states before the federal executive is probably properly constituted.

In effect, each of our states makes up the much-vilified Federal Executive because the ministers represent us there.

On the federal legislative side of the federal government, the 109 senators and 360 representatives are elected to represent us from senatorial districts and federal constituencies created within our states.

The same is true in the federal judiciary at least at the Federal High Court level and largely so at the Appeal court, except for the supreme court that does not have 36 seats.

The point I seek to make therefore is that it is the representatives of the 36 states who truly constitute the federal government rather than any behemoth or entity.

So, if we agree for example to amend the constitution to allow state policing, I dont see who can stop it. But do we have a consensus on this matter?

If the Government is not giving us what we expect, I think we should all look in the mirror and ask ourselves what we have put into it, because we are the ones who constitute it.

I must emphasize that democracy works when a working majority exists. Without a working majority in parliament, the work of the executive becomes more difficult.

Therefore, I fail to understand why a party that has a Legislative majority is accused without more, of being a Rubber Stamp.

They are not elected to fight the executive especially of their own party, and they are expected to use their majority to push their Party and government agenda through.

That is why elective seats are hotly contested and won. But I find it even stranger and inexplicable that a party that have won legislative majority then literally surrenders its mandate in the parliament by handing over not just Committee Chairmanship seats to the minority, but also committees that are critical in the partys agenda.

Apart from Public Accounts and probably Ethics, minority should not chair a committee.

Of course, if only briefly I cannot but point out the fact that there are things we expect from different levels of government and legislators that are not their constitutional responsibilities. We would do well to read our constitution before the campaign starts and before we vote. (EXAMPLES ORALLY).

It is these things that should shape the future of our democracy in 2023 and beyond.

These things require us to focus on the kind of people we will elect to states and federal constituencies because it is those people who will determine many things that will affect us.

The kind of people we elect for example to the Senate, will determine what kind of people they will confirm to become ministers, heads of parastatals and so on, which will determine the quality of service we get.

The kind of people we elect, will determine the quality of policies, budgets, programmes and projects that are designed and delivered to us.

The local elections, to elect people to serve in the local governments, as state legislators and as governors are extremely important to our quality of life and deserve that we pay the utmost attention to them without losing sight of the federal elections.

Issues like water supply, rent, land acquisition, building permits, refuse management, sanitation, traffic management, primary health and education, community development are local and not federal issues.

As a small business operator, you need more support from your State Governments than the Federal (save for fiscal and monetary issues) in order for your business to thrive.

I have spoken to the freedoms that democracy offers and the freedom of speech in relation to our rhetoric. The other side of the coin is the role of the press.

While I respect and understand the responsibility to report the news, I hold the view that the press has a big responsibility in shaping the news.

Before I am misunderstood, let me explain.

While they have done a good job serving us with the developments relating to fallout from the choice of running mates and even the purported suspension of a presidential candidate, they can do more to focus on conversations that affect the majority of potential voters.

I am certain you agree with me that the majority of potential voters will be more likely interested to know if there is any plan to improve their childrens education and access to healthcare.

They certainly will be interested to know if something will be done to bring water to their taps at home and what the plans for more reliable electricity will be.

You can bet that those who pay 2 to 3 years rent in advance will be interested to know if anything can be done about it and what that would be.

These are examples of conversations that I think the media can focus on and thereby shape the news.

While there is a lot of work still to be done, it is proper at this point to also highlight the successes our democracy has delivered because the democratic experience since 1999 came at great cost.

Therefore, before I close, let me remind us about some of the things our democracy has delivered since 1999 so that we keep stock, and we believe and reaffirm our commitment to the choice that democracy offer is us and we remain faithful to its ideals.

Our democracy has delivered an interstate train service, the first and only one since the one built by the colonial government.

Our democracy is delivering solutions to problems that seem to have defied solutions, like a road and bridge network to Bonny Island, like the Second Niger Bridge and the reconstruction of the Lagos - Ibadan Expressway, Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, Kano-Maiduguri Expressway and an extensive broadband rollout nationwide.

And lest I forget, our democracy delivered access to telephone service for many Nigerians.

Our democracy has delivered an increasing reliance on Tax revenue as the basis of Government expenditure.

This is important because it increases the focus on representation.

While there is still a lot to do, these are building blocks of hope around which to build our prosperity.

They represent critical items of infrastructure and fiscal options about our current and future livelihoods around which to frame the issue for 2023 elections and plan the future of Nigerias democracy.

Therefore, let me close by saying that we can win elections without exaggerating our problems. We can do so by offering credible service and well thought out solutions.

We can win elections without disrobing our country before the global community.

We can do so by valorising Nigerias possibilities and not by widening her fault lines.

Elections and Democracy must represent for us a feast of ideas and choices that bring out the best of us and the best of our country.

Thank you for inviting me, and thank you for listening.

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In its quest to improve the socio- economic lives of its citizenry and the nation the Federal Government has challenged its contractors handling federal road projects across the country on quick delivery before the end of its tenure.

The Honourable Minister of State for Works and Housing,Hon. Umar Ibrahim EL Yakubu stated this while inspecting the Dualization of Kano Maiduguri Road Section 1, covering Kano Wudil Shuarin awarded to Messrs Dantata and Sawoe Construction Co, Nigeria Limited since 2006.

El-Yakubu said that on the part of government, it will continue to push and support speedy completion and commissioning of all roads nearing completion before the end of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration.

On our part, we will continue to push you to ensure quick delivery. We want to be able to commission this project before the end of this year. I dont know why you are mentioning next year. We dont have many months left to commission this project, and I am sure putting in the right resources after the rainy season , you will be able to meet up, he said.

The Minister of State noted that all road contracts are being awarded to competent and capable contractors and so there is no reason why you cant deliver on time as funding which might be the challenge has been addressed by the Government of President Muhammdu Buhari by providing alternative funding schemes apart from the yearly budgetary allocation.

You have I suppose the capacity and competence to do the job. I believe you can do better so you need to challenge yourself but if you hadnt the competence and the capacity, thats a different thing but you do. So it is a matter of harnessing those potentials and leveraging on the resources at your disposal, EL-Yakub said.

EL-Yakub also disclosed that the project has taken too long but the commitment of the present administration to deliver on road infrastructure because of the recognition of its importance to lives and livelihood in job creation and national development, the road needs to be completed and delivered.

We want to complete this project, it has taken too long, Nigerians have been patient but thank God for the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari that has commitment to delivering road infrastructure because of the recognition of what it does to lives and livelihood of Nigerians. You know every side of it creates job and we need those jobs both direct and indirect, he said.

The Minister admonished all contractors to be engaging the youths more especially the graduates to be given proper training on construction sites for them to have practical knowledge of what they studied in the universities and higher institutions in order to ensure competent personnels and technicians in the construction industry. He added that more Nigerians should be allowed to participate in construction companies be it foreign or Nigerian owned.

He appreciated the contractor for the work done so far and encouraged them to increase their pace and achieve more before the end of the year.

Briefing the Honourable Minister of State earlier on the scope of work, the Engineer Representative on site, Engr. Hanish Kolayoka Sarjius explained that the 207.73 km road project was awarded in 2006 but has a set back because of lack of fund but since the project was placed under SUKUK, there has been an appreciable work done on the road.

He added that the flyovers 1 and 2 and river bridges 1, 2, and 3 have been completed and so the overall percentage completion work to date is 69.57% with a time lapse of 103.83%.

The Project Manager of Dantata and Sawoe Construction Company Nigeria Limited, Engr. Roy Hunushi appreciated the Federal Government for awarding the contract to them, saying that the project would be delivered and that they were working in line with the laid down procedures.

He requested for the release of fund to enable them deliver the project as scheduled though the rainy season has delayed the pace of work on site.

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The Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN said that road infrastructure promotes the nations 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 years 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 nations 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 years 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 ministrys 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 nations 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 years 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 years 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 Ministrys 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 years 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.

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The Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Bashir Nura Alkali has reiterated that Federal Governments determination for successful completion and commissioning of highway infrastructure projects across the country is on top gear.

Alkali stated that in Kano, Kano State at the meeting of Permanent Secretaries at the on-going 28th Meeting of the National Council on Works with the theme, Infrastructure, The Season of Completion.

Alkali said that the timing of the Council meeting is very auspicious and apt as it affords the delegates opportunity to think through and make necessary arrangements, meaningful contributions as well as take critical steps to ensure that road infrastructure projects are completed on time and commissioned.

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, he said.

Alkali reminded the Permanent Secretaries that they are expected to have the objectives of the National Development Plan 2021 - 2025 in mind as they look at ways of ensuring that road projects are completed and commissioned in order to galvanize national growth and sustainability.

He added that the recommendations of the meeting should focus on restoring economic growth, the ease of doing business, investing in our people and creating a competitive economy through the provision of good road networks across the country.

He also charged the body of Permanent Secretaries to ensure that money spent on roads and bridges improves the economy and imparts on the citizens positively.

The Permanent Secretary appreciated the government and people of Kano State for hosting this years Council on Works.

I must quickly thank our 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 roads across the country, he said.

Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure Development Kano State, Engr. Idris Wada Saleh said that it is desirable for government at all levels to strive hard to complete ongoing infrastructural projects within the remaining periods of their tenures.

In order to ensure successful completion and sustainability of highway projects Engr.Saleh urged successive administrations to take it as a duty to complete outstanding infrastructural projects that might be left uncompleted before the end of the tenures of the present leadership to ensure judicious utilization of public funds and continuity.

He welcomed and congratulated the delegates for having the unique opportunity to attend the highly educative meeting to contribute to national development and wished the delegates fruitful deliberations and a peaceful stay in Kano, the state capital.

The meeting of Permanent Secretaries reviewed 46 memoranda submitted by stakeholders under six (6) Thematic Syndicate Groups:

1. Policy Formulation and Implementation

2. Completion of infrastructure and economic growth: The role of maintenance

3. Institutional strengthening

4. Completion of infrastructure as a policy priority policy and funding priority of ease of doing business

5. Sustainable funding as a catalyst for completion of infrastructure in Nigeria

6. Socio-economic impacts of the completed infrastructure

A presentation on New Innovations on the use of Alternative Technologies in Roads / Infrastructure Development was presented at the meeting.

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I welcome you all to the 28th Meeting of the National Council on Works with the theme: Infrastructure, the Season of Completion holding here in Kano from today Monday, 22nd 26th August, 2022.

2. As you are aware, the Meeting of the National Council on Works is the highest policy-making organ where stakeholders in the Works Sector deliberate and discuss 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 and come up with recommendations worthy of consideration by the Council. This is a task that 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 years 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 Umar Ibrahim El- Yakub and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing Bashir Nura Alkali FCA, FCTI for providing the required support and 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. The role of Kano State Government and the Local Organizing Committee to the preparation for this meeting is highly commendable.

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

8. Thank you and God bless you all.

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.....NHP Phase III, Kano Project to Begin Soon- Minister of State Works & Housing

The Honourable Minister of State for Works and Housing (HMSW&H) Hon. Umar Ibrahim El-Yakub on Saturday visited the completed National Housing Programme (NHP) Phase I & II, construction of Kano (Dawakin Tofa) Gwarzo Dayi Road and construction of Kano Western By- Pass Road projects under the Ministry all in Kano State on a familiarization tour.

The Minister expressed his happiness and satisfaction with the Kano NHP during his visit, which he called familiarization visit to the completed NHP phase I and II projects of 132 housing units of different configurations, I am indeed happy with the quality of work, landscaping and the infrastructure put up in these phases of NHP, the third phase of Kano NHP will kick off soon at Dawakin Tofa Local Government in Kano State he said

El Yakub said the location of the NHP I & II is a good choice in a decent environment with serenity, he continued, the choice of this site, we owe it to the Government of Kano State for giving us the opportunity to site this project on this very piece of land, I appreciate many policies and programmes of President Muhammadu Buhari, unprecedented level of infrastructure has been delivered during this administration .

The Minister said NHP was not only beneficial to the people of the State but to the people around the vicinity of the site, over 70, 000 direct and in-direct jobs were created, lives were impacted, peoples economy were improved because people have income due to NHP project.

The Federal Controller of Works in Kano State, Engr Yahaya Ali conducted the Minister round the project of the construction of Kano (Dawakin Tofa) Gwarzo Dayi Road, he said ‘It is a major route in the Northern part of the Country which links Kano with many States in the Northwest and North Central geopolitical zones

The Minister while responding to the challenges of compensation for structures and land settlement along the Kano Kastina road faced by the project contractor Messrs CGC Nigeria Ltd as explained by its Commercial Manager, Engr Mei Shou. The Minister said We shall continue to engage the Kano and Katsina State governments so as to enhance the delivery period of our projects as the issue of compensation is been handled by the Ministry headed by Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, and it shall be resolved sooner than later.

El Yakub said the importance of the project cannot be over emphasized, it is an interstate road that needs to be reconstructed, its one way carriage way would be dualized after the completion of the project, and the benefit of the road are enormous; it reduces the traffic on the street, it shortens the travel time which has an invaluable economic and social effect on the people.

The Hon. Minister of State, Umar Ibrahim El-Yakub however, expressed his dissatisfaction with the contractor handling the construction of the Kano Western By-Pass Road during his visit to the construction site, he said government, stakeholders and the people of Kano are not happy with the slow pace of work on the road, he urged the Contractor handling the project, Dantata & Sawoe Construction Co. Nigeria Ltd, whose Project Manager , Engr Roy Nguishi that the company has to redouble their pace of work while also reassuring them that their payments are been resolved.

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The Government of Nigerias delegation to the 2022 AGM and Symposium was led by the Honourable Minister of State Works and Housing, Umar Ibrahim El-Yakub who was accompanied by other senior Government Officials and functionaries. With its Headquarters in Kenya, Nairobi, Shelter Afrique is the only Pan-African Finance Institution that exclusively supports the development of the housing and the real estate sector in Africa. It was established in 1982 by African Governments, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and African Reinsurance Corporation (African-Re) and is dedicated to providing funding solutions for affordable housing projects across Africa.

Nigeria is a founding member of the Organization and holds priority position as the second largest shareholder with investments exceeding USD 30,000 representing 15.8 per cent of its shareholding, coming behind Kenya with 17.27 per cent, and ahead of the AfDB at 12.78 per cent. Nigeria hosted the West African Regional office of Shelter-Afrique established in 2014, and hosted the 13th and 36th Annual General Meetings of the Organization in Abuja in 1994 and 2016 respectively.

Over the years, Shelter Afrique has worked in partnership with the Real Estate Developers Association (REDAN), State Governments and other property financiers and developers to curb Nigerias housing deficit, and recently in April, 2022 successfully raised a N46bn five and seven-years tenure Naira dominated bonds at 13 and 13,5 per cent respectively to further boost Nigerias housing supply and provide affordable housing. Once again, the capital city of Abuja, Nigeria is billed to host the 42nd AGM of shelter-Afrique in Abuja in the second week of May, 2023.

As the main policy organ of the Organization, the 41st Shelter Afrique AGM held in Zimbabwe provided a forum for shareholders to collectively review and deliberate on the performance and continued growth of the Organization. A new Bureau of the General Assembly to run the Company for the next one year was elected comprising, the Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities, Honourable Daniel Garwe (Zimbabwe) as Chairperson, Minister of Works and Housing, Honourable Raji Babatunde Fashola (Nigeria) as 1st Vice-Chairperson and Minister of Infrastructure, Honourable Dr. Ernest Nsabimana (Rwanda) as 2nd Vice-Chairman. The AGM also reviewed the Reports and Accounts for the financial year ended 31st December, 2021 and appointed new directors and External Auditors for the Company among other important administrative and organizational matters set to put the Organization on a progressive part of growth.

The accompanying Annual Symposium at the 41st AGM which focused on ‘Climate Change and the Built Environment is one of the key activities of Shelter Afriques 2020-2025 strategy for disseminating information on topical issues. Driven by its Centre of Excellence and the need for research-based housing solutions, the Annual Symposium is designed to be an avenue for collaboration and synthesizing information, knowledge, best practices and innovations on housing and urban development issues to the wider African housing financing and production market. It has over the years served to document and disseminate information to African countries, stakeholders, and key partners. and provided solutions for better housing strategies.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the last two years have seen the world witness dramatic changes that have directly impacted the built environment and Climate Change which informed the theme for the 41st AGM. Climate Change has a significant influence on the social and environmental determinants of health, clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and housing security, and continues to affect day to day living, including making the provision of safe, habitable, weather proof shelter major challenges. The Symposium saw many seasoned experts address these pertinent issues, and introduce new technologies and innovations to ensure provision of good weather proof structures.

As a Pan African housing development financier, a Roundtable Session of African Finance Ministers and Reserve Banks Governors on the theme: The Role of Central Banks in African Housing Markets was also held on the side-lines of Shelter-Afriques 41st AGM as part of its main activities. Central Banks the world over is considered an integral part of the economic and financial system of a nation and have a critical mandate to achieve and maintain price stability, maintain the financial systems stability, define monetary policy and act as lenders of last resort. This central role of Central Banks was discussed in all its ramifications, and solutions and strategies were proffered by the Roundtable for further strengthening of its role in the real estate sector and provision of more efficient and effective service delivery.

Another major highlight of the Shelter-Afriques 41st AGM was the signing of the Host Agreement for the Shelter Afrique 42nd AGM on Thursday 28th July 2022 between the Government of Nigeria represented by the Honourable Minister of State Works and Housing, Umar Ibrahim El-Yakub and Shelter Afrique represented by the Acting Managing Director Mr. Kingsley Muwowo, It signaled the commitment by the Government of Nigeria to host Shelter Afriques 42nd AGM earmarked for the second week of May 2023 in Abuja, Nigeria. The agreement spells out the Annual General Meeting, a Ministerial roundtable and interlinked business activities as some of the events that will constitute the proceedings. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Honourable Ministers, senior government officials and other stakeholders. The Honourable Minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola, SAN will succeed Zimbabwe as Chairman during the 42nd Annual General Meeting in Abuja in 2023. The Government of Nigeria is expected to ensure effective organisation and success of the meetings by undertaking to contribute to the physical arrangements in collaboration with Shelter-Afrique.

The Honourable Minister of State Works and Housing, Umar Ibrahim El-Yakub speaking as the first Vice Chairperson of the Shelter Afrique Bureau of the General Assembly expressed the Government of Nigerias pleasure to host the next AGM of Shelter-Afrique. He appreciated how things had come full circle when in 2016 Nigeria hosted the AGM when Shelter-Afrique was facing similar turbulence, and Nigeria steadied the ship and handed stewardship to Zimbabwe, and noted that Zimbabwe also now had an opportunity to do the same for Nigeria. He encouraged all shareholders to play similar roles when required to advance the cause for affordable housing in Africa.

Nigerias Minister further observed that Nigeria recently contributed capital of US$7.1 million to the organisation which demonstrated the countrys commitment to Shelter-Afrique and the ideal of African Multilateralism. He also called for the organisation to deliver on its promise to add Shareholder Value and to swing into more positive action. He expressed gratitude to Shelter Afrique for putting together avenues for dialogues during the AGMs, and urged that frameworks be included that respective member countries can take back to their countries for implementation, a role which Nigeria will continue to advance as a member of the 41st Bureau of Shelter Afrique.

Honourable Minister Umar Ibrahim El-Yakub also observed that Shelter Afriques return to Nigeria for its 42nd AGM demonstrated the Organizations renewed interest in Nigeria and anticipated great returns towards housing delivery in the country. He noted that the gains to be accrued by Nigeria through hosting the AGM include regional integration, tourism and business linkages, and would also highlight Shelter Afriques role as a catalyst in the industry and its ability to leverage partnerships. He appreciated Shelter Afrique for bestowing trust upon Nigeria as a Nation by selecting it as its venue of choice.

Also, as part of the week-long 41st AGM and Symposium activities Hon. Gen (Rtd) Dr. Constantino Chiwenga, the Vice President of Zimbabwe, officiated the ground-breaking ceremony for 164 units blocks of walk-up flats for Victoria Falls. The project is part of a revolving fund built in partnership with the private sector. The flats will be sold to affording citizens, targeting middle income earners in line with the Governments primary focus to provide social housing for every worker including civil servants, in Victoria Falls and the countrywide can to address the housing backlog. A building and housing exhibition also ran parallel to the AGM for its week-long duration.

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... Charges the Bank to do more.

The Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN has said that the Federal Mortgage Bank under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has contributed positively to the development of the housing sector in Nigeria through commendable service delivery.

The Minister said that at the opening ceremony of the 2022 Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria Board/ Management Retreat and unveiling of the banks new corporate statement with the theme: Strategic Repositioning for Optimised Performance with a sub theme: Organisational Culture Change and Informal Sector Integration, which took place at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja on Monday August 1,2022.

Fashola said, Since the inception of the Muhammadu Buhari administration in 2015, the bank has a positive story of service delivery to tell with the number of mortgages that have been issued, housing schemes that have been funded and completed and changes that have been made to the eligibility conditions to improve access to funding.

The Minister further said that equity contribution ratio for certain types of loans have been reduced. He charged the bank to do more as the Federal Government has infused the Board and Management with a sense of how to reposition itself for greater and optimal performance to serve members of the public, especially those that contribute to the National Housing Fund.

Fashola stated that Federal Government has supported the FMB with the acquisition of core banking applications and software that reflect the reality of current banking environment to enable them operate comfortably like any ideal bank.

He disclosed that the National Council on Housing and Land held last week in Sokoto adopted a recommendation for the FMB to seek NDICs insurance of its contributors fund just as it is done for depositors in other banks.

Although the Minister expressed appreciation for the services such as the issuing of mortgages, home refurbishment loans and the introduction of the rent to own Initiative, he charged them to think out other ways of easing other concerns of the people especially the problem of 2 - 3 years rent payment demand by landlords in advance from tenants.

He observed that the problem of housing deficit is often seen from the angle of ownership whereas no country in the whole world has one hundred percent housing ownership, adding that it is a balance of ownership and rental.

While commending the Management and Board of the bank for organising the retreat, he urged them to focus their deliberations on how the people can be served better.

Earlier in an address the Chairman Board of Directors of the Bank, Mr. Ayodeji Ariyo, disclosed that the decision to have the retreat underscores the irrevocable commitment of the board to provide the required leadership and strategic direction for a rapid and sustainable positive turn - around in all facets of the banks operations.

Mr. Ayodeji said the wellbeing of individuals and families is negatively impacted when the need for satisfactory housing is not met. This according to him leads to poor health, resulting into increased financial burden on healthcare system, low productivity, low esteem and other bills.

In his opening address, the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, Mr. Madu Hamman revealed that the COVID -19 global pandemic, the Russia - Saudi Arabia oil price and the Russia Ukrain conflict have impacted negatively on the global economy which posed some challenges to the bank.

He, however, said that despite that, the bank has made remarkable achievements and is poised to record more.

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Hon. Minister of Works and Housing & Guest Speaker, Mr Babatunde Fashola,SAN (right),Chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai (2nd right), Jean Monnet Professor of Strategy and Development & Moderator, Prof. Anthony Kila (2nd left) and Royal Father of the Day, HRM Eze Chidume Okoro (UGOAMANO) (left) in a group photograph shortly after The Niche's Annual Lecture with the theme,

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A view of Gombe - Kaltungo Road linking Kumo, Billiri and Kaltungo Communities in Gombe State after its rehabilitation by the Federal Government. INSET: Representative of President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami (3rd right), Governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya (2nd right), Emir of Gombe & Chairman, Gombe State Council of Emirs & Chiefs, HRH.Dr Abubakar Shehu Abubakar III (3rd left) and representative of the Hon. Minister of Works and Housing & Director Highways, North East Zone, Engr. Celestine Shausu (right) and others during the Federal Government's Commissioning and Handover of Gombe - Kaltungo Road in Gombe State on Friday, 26th August 2022.

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