The Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde RajiFashola, SAN, has solicited for the support of the Senate Committee on Lands, Housing and Urban Development for better appropriation and provision in 2017 to enable contractors engaged by the ministry effectively utilize the dry season weather to gain more grounds in their on-going projects.
Fashola made this disclosure when he appeared before the Senate Committee to defend the 2017 budget proposal of the housing sector of the ministry. After he briefed the committee on the level of implementation of the 2016 appropriation as well as challenges faced by the ministry, the minister proceeded to defend the 2017 budget proposal, adding that the sum of 64.9 billion is budgeted for capital spending and that the National Housing Programme is expected to spend over 41 billion naira from the total capital expenditure of the budget.
He noted in his detailed presentation that among the projects that are competing for prominence in 2017 is the completion and rehabilitation of federal secretariats buildings across the country, the Zik Mausoleum, projects and programmes of PPP, constituency outreach and intervention projects. The minister further stated that the ministry under his supervision is proposing to construct 165 blocks of 2, 000 units housing estate across the country under the National Housing Programme.
In a related development, the minister requested for the support of the committee to make provision/appropriation for the naira equivalent of 12 million dollars to enable Nigeria pay her dues to Shelter Afrique, an organization of housing development and financing made up of 44 African countries that includesNigeria.
He said besides Nigeria being the board chairman of Shelter Afrique, the country has benefited extensively from the housing policy of this organization in the past and is just morally right as a share holder to pay up our liability of 12million dollars before the deadline of the end of 2017.
Earlier in his remarks, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Engr. Barnabas Gemade welcomed the minister and officials of the ministry.
He noted that with the apt presentation of the minister on the proposed budget for 2017, the committee will work in tandem with the Appropriation Committee of the senate by recommending necessary provision for the housing sector of the ministry for on-going and new projects, adding that this will enhance the quality of lives of the people and help the nation to overcome the challenges in the distributions of infrastructures and also reduce the deficits in affordable housing scheme in Nigeria.
However, the Committee Chairman enquired about the submission of a Regional Housing Scheme in addition to the National Housing Programme, to which the Minister explained that it was not part of the submission of the Ministry, adding that perhaps the Ministry of Finance would be in a better position to make further clarification about the scheme.
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