Minister Decries The Deplorable State Of FHA Roads: Promises Government Intervention
The Honourable Minister of State II for Power, Works and Housing, Surv. Suleiman Hassan Zarma, mnis, has lamented the deplorable condition of road and drainage infrastructures at the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) estate, Lugbe, attributing it to critical failures of the planning authorities in time past in upgrading them, giving room to the flagrant abuse of planning regulations by residents.
The Minister stated this today in Abuja during an assessment tour of the infrastructural facilities at the estate along side with the Managing Director of Federal Housing Authority, Prof Mohammed Al-amin.
According to him, ‘’the typography of the estate was not fully taken into consideration at the planning and design stage, hence the reason for the hydraulic failures.’’ He added that though the facilities that were initially deployed, like the drainage system, maybe small and over stretched such that it cannot contain large volume of water especially during the flooding period.
Zarma said that the present administration, as part of its commitment to the citizenry, will however, not relent in upgrading of infrastructural services across the country to enhance and improve the living standards of Nigerians Federal Government owned estates.
Earlier, the Managing Director of the Federal Housing Authority, Prof. Mohammed Al-amin thanked the Federal Government and the ministry for massively investing in infrastructures across the country and maintaining the existing structures.
While conducting the Minister and journalists round the roads and other facilities in the estate, Al-amin stated that the essence of the visit is to upgrade the FHA settlement into an urban centre due to its proximity to the city centre and the different categories of civil servants living in the housing estate.
Speaking at the site of the inspection, the Chairman of the Residents Association, Mr Odelana Adesina thanked the Minister for creating time to visit the estate. He said the residents are glad that the visit by the Minister has given him the opportunity to have a firsthand information about the deplorable state of the roads and solicited the support of government for the rehabilitation of the existing/major road as well as build alternative roads in and out of the estate for ease of movement by residents.
He also urged the government to assist the residents in the provision of other infrastructures such as hospitals, drainages, water supply, metering for electricity and improved security within the estate.
The Federal Housing Authority Estate in Lugbe was built some 30 years ago and currently accommodates over 70,000 different categories of federal civil servants working in the city centre.
APC CONVENTION SATURDAY, 6TH OCTORBER, 2018
This is to inform FCT Residents, Visitors and Motorists that due to the National Convention of the All Progressives Congress, APC slated for Saturday, 6th October 2018 at the Eagle Square, Abuja, an unusual influx of human and vehicular traffic will be experienced within the city with the attendant traffic congestion in and around the venue of the convention.
To this effect all vehicular movement through Shehu Shagari Way from the early hours of Saturday, 6th October, 2018 to Sunday, 7th October will be diverted at Ralph Sodeinde Street by Bullet Building to link Central Business District. Motorists will also be diverted at Kur Mohammed Street and Constitution Avenue at Bayelsa House to Central Business District.
Traffic on Ahmadu Bello Way will equally be diverted at Ralph Sodeinde Street by Finance Junction to Central Business District. Motorists will also be diverted at Kur Mohammed Street or Constitution Avenue by Benue Building to link Central Business District.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration have mobilized Officers of the Police, FRSC, FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Service and other relevant Traffic Enforcement Agencies to various flash points to ensure seamless traffic flow.
Parking has been made available at the National Stadium for ALL Delegates coming from outside Abuja from where they will be conveyed to the venue by dedicated Buses.
In the same vein, ALL Delegates from within the FCT should converge at the Old Parade Ground from where they will be conveyed to the venue.
Please note that parking around the Eagle Square and its environs will not be tolerated as offending vehicles will be removed.
The understanding of the public is hereby solicited
Secretary, Transportation Secretariat
Federal Capital Territory
Remarks By The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry Of Power, Works And Housing, (Works And Housing Sector), Mohammed Bukar, At The 24th National Council Meeting On Works, Held In Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State
I am pleased to welcome you to the 24th Meeting of the National Council on Works holding in Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State.
2. As you are aware, the theme of this year’s National Council Meeting is “Ensuring Value-for-Money in Nigerian Highways Development”. The theme is apt and timely, considering our collective resolve to address the challenges in road development in the country within available resources.
3. In order to ensure that this target is achieved, it has become necessary for all the critical stakeholders to consider and provide contemporary policies that will support the attainment of the above target.
4. It is quite instructive that the theme was carefully chosen to ensure prudent spending of available financial resources in Highways development in the country due to the huge investment governments at all levels are making in road development.
5. The Meeting is significant as it will afford us the desired opportunities to identify challenges in the highways sector and develop strategies towards addressing them. We are therefore, expected to explore various realistic means of proper utilization of funds and other resources meant for road projects, to enable quick service delivery, which in turn will fast-track national growth and sustainability. May I also stress on the need to ensure that all our recommendations align with the objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of 2017-2019 which focuses on restoring economic growth, ease of doing business, investing in our people and creating a competitive economy. The achievement of these objectives largely lies on the availability of good road network across the country.
6. Distinguished delegates and officials, the timing of this meeting therefore, is very significant as it affords us the opportunity to think through and make necessary provisions in our various Budgets for the year 2019 and beyond as well as take necessary steps that will ensure money spent on roads impacts on the Nigerian economy, positively.
7. On this note, I once again welcome you all and wish you fruitful deliberations.
8. Thank you.
Ensuring Value For Money In Nigerian Highways Development Being Remarks By Babatunde Raji Fashola, San At The National Council On Works, Held In Kebbi
On behalf of the State Commissioners and other Members of Council, I express the appreciation of the Federal Government of Nigeria to the Government and People of Kebbi State for hosting our Council Meeting and for doing so under very hospitable circumstances, in Birnin Kebbi.
Apart from being the home of famous Emirates like Gwandu, Yauri, Zuru, Argungu to mention a few, Kebbi State has come to the centre stage in Nigeria’s developmental history, especially at this time when Governor Atiku Bagudu is providing visionary, developmental and progressive leadership.
Statesmen, not big men, as former Governors, former Chief Judges have rallied around their Governor and Government to pursue a common goal of development.
From Agriculture, to Roads, Housing to Power, whenever it is partnership for Development, Atiku Bagudu will be found making the strongest case for why Kebbi must be involved. This remarkable and inspiring leadership must be acknowledged.
It is in this environment of developmental focus that we converge for the 24th National Council for Works to discuss development around getting “Value for Money in Nigerian Highways”.
Ladies and gentlemen, I found this topic appealing to this Council because of some of the assumptions that have been made about Cost of Roads in Nigeria, the questions I have had to answer, posed by people who ought to know, and because I hope to generate a more informed conversation about the matter.
It is my expectation that in each State, we will be sufficiently interested to interrogate issues like the source of value, where it lies and how to get the best out of it.
Therefore, I would like to start by asking the question why Nigeria has bad roads after almost a decade of prolific receipts from oil boom when oil prices were at $100 per barrel.
The answer is partly because we did not invest our money in Roads in the way that the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Brazil, to mention a few oil-exporting countries, have done.
To the extent that Roads are assets that live for longer periods of time and deliver collective National Benefit in terms of movement of goods and services and contribution to the GDP, clearly, it is doubtful that we got optimum value for those oil incomes between 2007 and 2015.
In other words, instead of investing our oil receipts in Roads, and long-term assets, of infrastructure, we spent the money on recurrent items of expenditure.
This is clearly discernible from the Annual Federal Budgets of that era, where the maximum provision for Capital Expenditure struggled to exceed 20%, when they seldom went beyond the threshold of 15%; and what was ultimately released by way of cash was scarcely ever in excess of 50%.
The result of these, of course was that by 2015 when I took office, there were over 200 roads whose contract values were in excess of N2 trillion and for which payments had only cumulated to about N500 billion.
Some of these roads had been awarded for upwards of 10 (ten) years. Inadequate budget and funding had delayed their completion. Many sites had been abandoned, workers laid off, equipment grounded.
This was where the Buhari Government picked up. With significantly lower oil incomes, we got the contractors back to site one after the other. We raised the budget size from N4 Trillion to N6 Trillion in 2016 and increased capital spending to 30%; which was funded by borrowing to finance the deficit.
For those who wanted roads to be fixed and those who did not want the nation to borrow, there is no middle ground. You either borrow to invest in tomorrow’s infrastructure at today’s prices, or wait until you can do it tomorrow at tomorrow’s price.
Our reality today is that the roads that were awarded 10 years ago and were not funded then have to be funded at today’s prices of money, interest rates, and at today’s prices of cement, iron rod, laterite and labour wages.
Clearly, we lost not only the value of money not properly invested, we lost value in the cost of doing business without good roads. We lost value in productivity by men and machine that became redundant.
While we cannot recover what is lost, we must not lose what is ahead; in this regard, I am happy to say that the Buhari Government is investing wisely and sensibly in the infrastructure that will drive Nigeria’s tomorrow.
From Rail to Ports, Power and Roads, this administration is resolute in its determination to complete ongoing or abandoned projects. Today, there is no State in Nigeria where the Federal Government of Nigeria is not executing one Road Project.
Hon. Commissioner has confirmed in his address Roads being executed in Kebbi. He wants more , the Buhari Government is ready to do more. It is in your hands to bring him back.
Undoubtedly, we have done more with less. This is the meaning of value. But there are other challenges that we must work together to improve upon in order to remove avoidable costs from Road and related infrastructure development.
A) Land issues, compensation, and court cases compound the cost of construction.
B) Conflicts, security breaches, pose risks to construction workers, which escalates costs in many ways, such as insurance, payment of security personnel, delays to project completion, to mention a few;
C) The absence of uniform Public Sector Procurement Prices;
D) Proper project planning, development and supervision;
E) Post-construction maintenance of scheduled and unscheduled natures to achieve asset life cycle expectation and performance; ( Bridges – Tamburawa, Tatabu, Third Mainland, Niger Bridge, Koton Karfe , Ijora, Isaac Boro).
F) Dispute resolution mechanisms as a means of achieving cost efficiency in road construction and achieving value for money, must be interrogated;
G) Government Treasury Operations and Payment Systems, review and reform will contribute to achieving better value for money in Road Development Project.
H) Increasing local content in Nigeria Road Construction and implementing Presidential Order 5.
Ladies and Gentlemen, these are only some of the items of avoidable costs around which we should have a conversation and a resolution if we are to achieve better value for money.
Each one of them is a full subject of debate in itself.
It is my expectation that many sections of the construction industry will rise up to the challenges inherent in improving each of the areas I have highlighted.
I make myself ready to contribute and participate upon reasonable notice.
Thank you for listening and I wish us very fruitful deliberations.
Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
Honourable Minister of Power, Works, and Housing
FASHOLA AT THE NATIONAL WORKSHOP ON STRENGTHENING HEALTH RESEARCH CAPACITY IN ABUJA
Hon Minister of Power Works Housing and Chairman NIMR Research FoundationMr Babatunde FasholaSANright being welcomed byDirector GeneralCEO Nigerian Institute of Medical ResearchProf Babatunde Lawal Salakomiddle and Head International Operations Wellcome Trust United Kingdom Dr Simeon Kay left during theNational Workshop on Strengthening Health Research Capacity organized by the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research NIMR at the Sheraton Hotels Towers Abuja on Friday 7thSeptember 2018
A COURTESY CALL AND PRESENTATION OF PRIZE FOR EXCELLENCE ON THE DIRECTOR PLANNING RESEARCH AND STATISTICS DEPARTMENT DR FAMOUS S ESEDUWO
A courtesy call and presentation of Prize for Excellence on the Director Planning Research and Statistics Department Dr Famous S Eseduwo by members of African Students Union Parliament ASUP at the Ministrys Headquarter Mabushi Abuja on the 16th of October 2018