The Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde RajiFashola, SAN has stated that the present administration is fully committed to deliver the dividend of change promised Nigerians by providing for inclusion and job creation despite the economic situation of the country. According to him, the government is to increase capital spending in the 2016 budget to about 30% of the N6.06 Trillion total budget. “What this means is that unlike in the past, up to 2015, when only about N400 Billion was planned for capital spending and indeed much less was actually spent, in 2016 about N1.8 Trillion is planned for capital spending with a renewed commitment to fund it”.
Fashola, who chaired the council meeting noted this during the official declaration of the 5th National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development held in Ilorin, Kwara State on Sunday, 21st to Friday, 26th August, 2016 with the ‘’Building Adequate Capacity of Professionals, Artisans and Tradesmen in the Built Environment’’.
The Minister stated that one objective of this council meeting and its theme is to emphasize to all members of the built environment that it is only those who are willing to act, who are willing to work, and “who are willing to get their hands dirty, by blasting rocks, moving sand, cement, iron rods, making doors, moulding blocks, pouring concrete and so on that will readily find inclusion in this economic process”. This according to the minister is what the President means when he talks about diversifying the economy through agriculture and mining.
Fashola disclosed that a national housing programme must have national acceptability in terms of diversity of design in response to cultural and climatic diversities. The Minister also spoke about standardising designs, windows and fitting all to be locally produced in order to allow for inclusion and creation of jobs to drive the economy in a positive direction.
He said that the Buhari administration has provided the opportunity for the professionals, artisans and tradesmen in the built environment to show case what they can do to build capacity, while building Nigeria.
The Minister expressed his appreciation to the Executive Governor of Kwara State, His Excellency, Mr. Abdulfatah Ahmed and members of his government for hosting this Council Meeting against all odds remarking that this is the kind of leadership that is required in difficult global economic environment.
In his opening remarks, the host governor, His Excellency,
AlhajiAbdulfatah Ahmed, the Executive Governor of Kwara State on behalf of the government and people of the State welcomed the Minister and delegates to the Meeting in the State. He stated that one major challenge that has hobbled this promising sector for decades is the lack of adequate manpower. “It is for this reason that I find the theme of this meeting: “Building Adequate Capacity of Professionals, Artisans and Tradesmen in the Built Environment” rather timely,this is because adequate supply of qualified personnel, especially in the building subsector, is critical to urban and development planning”.
Indeed, artisans, especially masons, carpenters and electricians, are needed in large numbers by the housing and construction sectors but are largely unavailable or poorly skilled. We are all aware of how artisans from neighboring countries such as Ghana and Togo have taken over our construction sector while our youths wallow in unemployment, the governor said.
He maintained that from a public safety perspective, the incessant cases of buildings collapse and the resulting loss of lives and property is as attributable to quacks as it is to defective building materials and poor quality standards.
The governor urged stakeholders to show interest in appraising these scenarios and find lasting solution for putting an end to the use of quacks and substandard materials in the building constructions.
He further noted that the opportunity provided by the 5th National Council should be used to review existing policies on Lands, Housing and Urban Development and put in place new policies that will adequately address existing challenges and bequeath future generations with an efficient land and housing sector.
The Council Meeting was brought to a close with the issuance of communiqué, a total number of twenty-seven (27) memoranda were received. Two (2) were stepped down; four (4) were recommended for referral to the National Council on Works; seven (7) were converted to notes and twelve (12) were considered by Council. After due consideration of the issues raised in the twelve memoranda presented at the Meeting, Council adopted resolutions on the following areas; effective/efficient land administration, Housing finance and adequate/affordable housing delivery, Urban development and Building adequate capacity of professional, artisan, tradesmen in the built environment.
It was resolved that Niger State will host the 6th National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development by the 4th quarter of 2016.
For: AD Information (Housing)