The federal government has reiterated that it will consolidate on the various existing housing projects across the nation as a way of boosting the economy and taking Nigeria out of the present economy recession.
The minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, stated this while presenting the 2017 budget proposal of the Housing Sector of the ministry at the Joint Committee on Works, Power, Housing and Urban Development recently.
The minister, while giving an overview of the 2016 appropriation noted that despite the delay in budget passage of 2016 coupled with the process of finalization/standardization of the prototype designs for the National Housing Projects which was concluded around December, the ministry has issued award letters to competent and successful contractors.
The contractors, who have since been mobilized, have moved to their various sites to commence work. He further stated that the ministry was only able to achieve about 57 per cent of the estimated budget appropriation in 2016 due to paucity of funds and delay in releases, adding that the ministry will have done better if sufficient funds were released for designated projects.
Fashola said that the country will soon begin to feel the impact as laid-off workers have been re-absorbed, more are being employed, goods and services are in exchange and the local economy of the various project locations/sites around the country are now taking shapes.
While giving the broad framework of the proposal for 2017, the minister noted that the highlight of this year’s budget will focus mainly on the National Housing Programme, completion and award of new federal secretariats in some states of the federation and payment of outstanding local debt to contractors, adding that this in the overall will positively impact on the nation’s economy.
The chairman, Joint committee on Works, Power and Housing Urban Development, Hon. Ahmed Babba Usman Keita thanked the minister and his team for their efforts and requested that the minister should furnish the committee with a detailed breakdown and clarifications of the proposed 2017 budget to help in facilitating necessary appropriation for the ministry.
Hon. Keita also assured the minister that the committee will use every constitutional means available to it to ensure the release of adequate funds to the ministry.
Olatunji John O.
Principal Information Officer
For: Director Information