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4 December, 2018

Nigerians Will Remain Grateful To The Fallen Heroes - Fashola

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN has Stated that Nigerians will remain ever grateful by remembering the supreme sacrifice paid by our brothers and sister who laid down their lives for the service of our father’s land, Nigeria.

Fashola made the statement, on Monday, in his Mabushi office when he received in audience the National Planning Committee of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration (AFRDC) 2019 who decorated him and also commended him for his immense contributions during the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration.

While been decorated alongside the Minister of State 1 for Power, Works and Housing, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri, Fashola noted that the seeming peace which is being enjoyed in Nigeria is as a result of commitment and sacrifices of our fallen heroes who fought gallantly and fearlessly to defend the integrity of our father land. He however commended the Nigeria Armed Forces for being combatant ready and for exhibiting professionalism at all times.

The Minister maintained that the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration is an important event which should be made more elaborate by calling on all well-meaning Nigerians, friends and well-wishers to contribute generously to an endowment fund that will cater for the families who lost their beloved ones. He also suggested for an improved production and redesigning of the Emblem so as to be more appealing to the eyes while the basics and the fundamental messages remains.

Earlier , Major Issa Abdulhamid who represented the Chairman , National Planning Committee of the 2019 Armed Forces  Remembrance Day Celebration, Major General Edward Chijioke Obi, disclosed that the reason of their visit was to identify with the Ministers in order to raise funds for the families of our fallen heroes and by so doing alleviate their plight and predicaments.
Major Abdulhamid also thanked the Ministers for attending to members of his committee in spite of their busy schedules.

FG To Carry Out Remedial Works In Major Arterial Roads Across The Country- Fashola The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, SAN, has disclosed that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the sum of N1.85b to carry out remedial works on the major arterial roads across the country for ease of movement and also reduce travelling hours during the ember festive period. He said that money will be released to the 37 Federal Controllers of Works to effectively carry out the reconstruction works in the identified heavy traffic routes frequently used. Fashola stated this while declaring open the Capacity Building Workshop for the Federal Controllers of Works with the theme: “Learning and Development for Greater Stature”, organized by the Ministry recently in Kaduna. The Minister encouraged the Federal Controllers to apply the principle of emotional intelligence and project management taught during the workshop, adding that Zonal Directors of Works from the Ministry would be deplored to all the zones to oversee their activities and performances during this period. Speaking earlier at the workshop, the Coordinator and Director Highways, North East Zone, Engr. Rufai Mohammed, said that part of the aims of the workshop was to discuss ways to tackle the challenges of the ember months and make necessary repairs where applicable. He noted that the workshop was to enable them achieve the set goals and accomplish government programmes and get value for money. In a related development, the Minister also visited the Kaduna Power Plant project site to assess the progress of work aimed at providing additional 215 megawatt to the nation’s power grid. He expressed satisfaction on the level and quality of job being carried out in the last one year.
29 November, 2018
President Buhari Reiterates Government’s Commitment To Infrastructure Development President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated the present Administration’s commitment towards massive infrastructural development in the country, saying that the Executive Order No 5 issued earlier this year is to ensure that Nigerians benefit from the various completed and on-going investments in infrastructure across the country. The President, who was represented by the Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babtunde Raji Fashola SAN, stated this at the 60th Anniversary Colloquium of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) with the theme: “Re- Engineering the Engineers for Optimum National Economic Growth and Development”, held today at the NAF Conference Centre and Suites, Abuja. Fashola disclosed that the policy of infrastructural development embarked upon by the present Administration will bring about a total diversification of “our economy away from oil dependence and open new opportunities for prosperity to Nigerians”. He further explained that the Executive Order No 5 on local content is a step towards ensuring that, in the short term, the economic benefits of these investments in infrastructure are maximized for the benefits of Nigerians. Fashola noted that massive projects like the Kano-Maiduguri dualisation, the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway, the East - West road, Lagos- Ibadan expressway, the Benin- Okene- Lokoja dualisation, the 2nd Niger Bridge, the Bodo- Bonny highway, and the Mambilla Hydro Power will form the foundation for building the country’s prosperity. He said, “these projects and many others like our rail projects from Lagos – Kano, Port Harcourt to Maiduguri and Air and Sea Ports at various stages of completion will form the foundation for building our household of prosperity.” The Minister revealed that a snap audit of 77 works construction sites and 50 housing sites was conducted to ascertain the number of foreigners employed on those sites which showed that more Nigerians are employed on these sites. Earlier, the President of NSE, Engineer Adekunle Olumuyiwa Mokuolu, in his welcome address, disclosed that the association which was founded in 1958 by young and vibrant Nigerian engineers to build a cohesive organisation for recognition of their professional expertise. He noted that the tenacity of the founding fathers has not faltered. He further noted that NSE has become “a veritable platform for true professional development of Engineers and the vehicle for driving the technological advancement of our country”. Presentations of “Diamond Jubilee Awards,” an appreciation award, were presented by the Minister, on behalf of the NSE, to some past presidents of the Society for their commitment.  
25 November, 2018
Fashola Lauds The Economic Potentials Of Buhari’s Administration The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Bababtunde Raji Fashola, SAN has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime as the Government that is laying a solid foundation for the economic growth and prosperity of Nigeria. Fashola stated this at the flag-off ceremony for the reconstruction of the 34 kilometer Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki-Ojota Expressway, a road built between 1975-1978, which he tagged as main artery of all our import and export businesses.  He added that the Apapa-Oshodi-Ojota Dual Carriageway will improve the socio-economic lives of the people, generate employment opportunities for both skill and unskill labour. The Minister disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration, in its wisdom entered into partnership with the President and Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote for the reconstruction of the road due to his belief and commitment in the Federal Government Ease of Doing Business Initiatives. Fashola stated that Alhaji Dangote is a man who believes in investing enormous wealth in Nigeria- a place Dangote truly regards as his home, adding that Nigerians should continue to pray for his successes. The Minister used the opportunity of the flag-off to charge Tanker and Trailer Drivers to exercise caution and decorum while driving on our busy roads, stressing that there are thousands of other road users whose rights of ways starts where that of the Articulated vehicle drivers ends. He enjoined the security agencies to refrain from extorting illegal fees from drivers but partner with them so that Nigerians will witness the seamless flow of traffic especially during this Ember month season. Fashola urged Nigerians to dispel unnecessary insinuations that they should vote for their brothers or sisters during elections, adding that “tribalism and religion does not build roads. Anybody that does the right thing is my brother,” he stated. Earlier, Alhaji Aliko Dangote stated that the partnership for the reconstruction of the Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki-Ojota Expressway is a laudable project that will usher in significant infrastructural development, stressing that the financing is coming from his organization’s corporate taxes to the Federal Government. Before the Flag-off ceremony, the Honorable Minister of Power, Works and Housing commissioned the 4 kilometer Wharf Road in Apapa reconstructed by the trio of Messrs AG, Dangote, Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC and the Nigerian Ports Authority as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility. The two colourful events were well attended by notable dignitaries which include, the Executive Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode , Former  Governor of Kano State and Chairman, Senate Committee on Works, Distinguished Senator , Kabiru Gaya , Wife of Former Governor of Lagos State and the Senator representing the Lagos Central , Her Excellency, Distinguished Senator Oluremi Tinubu,  Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, Representative of the Oba of Lagos, Obanikoro, Chairman, Truck Owners Association of Lagos, Chief Oluremi Ogungweyi amongst others.  
21 November, 2018
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PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT
5 October, 2018

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

OTHER NEWS
11 December, 2018

FG Commends Contractors On Quality Of Roads; Advocates For Alternative Funding Sources

The Federal Government has commended contractors handling various road and housing projects in the South South region for doing a good and quality job.

2.      The Honourable Minister of State I for Power, Works and Housing, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri expressed satisfaction on the quality of road   rehabilitation and construction, as well as the construction of mass houses under the present administration,  since its inception three years ago. He added that contractors are now fully back to sites with attendant effects on rejuvenating the economy and enhancing human capital development.

3.      Shehuri noted that in tackling infrastructural deficits across the country, there is a dire need for alternative and innovative sources of funding beside the usual annual budgetary allocations, adding that government is presently using the SUKUK (bond) funding option and Public - Private - Partnerships (PPP) to bridge infrastructural gaps in the country.

4.      The Minister stated this in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State during a working tour to the South South geopolitical zone to inspect ongoing projects being embarked upon by the Ministry.

5.      Earlier in his tour, the Minister inspected the Dualisation of Lokoja – Benin road, Section II: Okene – Auchi, Section III: Auchi – Ehor, as well as Section IV: Ehor – Benin City.

6.     He also visited the ongoing Dualisation of  Sapele - Ewu road, sections I and II, Sapele - Agbor and Agbor - Ewu, respectively.

7.      The Honourable Minister expressed satisfaction in the level and quality of work being carried out, especially in Bayelsa state inspite of the difficult terrain. He said this while inspecting ongoing construction works on Yenegwe – Okaki – Kolo road and the Dualisation of Yenegwe Road Junction – Kolo – Otuoke – Bayelsa Palm road.

8.      While in Rivers State, the Federal Controller of Works, Engr. J. O. Fadire briefed the Minister on the progress of work on the Rehabilitation of Enugu – Port Harcourt Expressway, Section IV, Aba - Port Harcourt, as well as the 39 - kilometre Bodo – Bonny road with bridges across Afa, Opobo and Nanabie Creeks, the only one to link the Ogoni people with Bonny Island.

9.     Engr. Fadire stated that though there are challenges affecting the pace of work such as  the environment, compensation and youth restiveness,  he, however, commended the contractor, Messrs Julius Berger (Nig.) Ltd. for the progress made within a short period of time. He further assured the Minister that the project will be delivered as scheduled because funding is not an issue as the major financiers, Messrs NLNG Ltd. is committed.

10.     The Minister visited the  construction sites of houses under the National Housing Programme (NHP), the second of its kind in the history of the nation since the President Shagari Low Cost Housing of the early 1980s, in Benin City, Edo State, Asaba, Delta State, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State and Calabar, Cross Rivers State. He also inspected the ongoing construction of the Federal Secretariat in Yenegoa, Bayelsa, where the Federal Controller of Housing in the State assured the Minister that the project will be completed by February, next year.

11.    Hon. Shehuri noted that with the construction of these affordable Mass Housing Estates across the country, the present government is delivering on its campaign promise of bridging the housing deficit in the country, creating jobs and  generating wealth.

12.    The Phase I of the NHP projects, according to the Minister, have reached advance stages of completion and will be due for commissioning in the first quarter of next year, stressing that the houses are for all interested illegible Nigerians.

13.     The Minister further disclosed that the procurement processes for the second phase of the Programme will soon be concluded and contracts awarded for its commencement in all the states that have provided the Ministry with land.

14.     During the course of the Tour of Duty, the Honourable Minister also visited the 132 KVA Transmission Substations at Uyo and Calabar in Akwa Ibom and Cross River States, respectively, where the present Government installed and commissioned an additional 1 * 60 MVA Transformer each, in April.

15. While conducting the Minister round the Uyo Facility, the General Manager, Port Harcourt Region of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Engr. Solomon Uyouko lamented that out of the 144 megawatts capacity of the transmission infrastructure, the DisCo utilise a meagre 2% daily, leaving most of the generated and transmitted power idle.

16. The story is almost similar at the 132 KVA Transmission Substation in  Calabar, where the Acting Assistant General Manager, Engr. Nasiru Bello stated that out of the 192 megawatts  transmitted daily, the DisCo evacuates between 20 - 30%.

17.      Commenting on the unfortunate state of power distribution infrastructure in the country, Hon. Shehuri said the present scenario is unacceptable, while admonishing the DisCos to up their game or pave way for those with requisite capacities. He further urged Nigerians to start blaming the DisCos for lack of electricity, not the Federal Government.

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Speeches
25 August, 2017

Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN At The 6th National Council On Land, Housing And Urban Development

I welcome you all very warmly to this 6th meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development.

I am enthused to speak to you because of the progress we have made from our last meeting in 2016 in Ilorin, Kwara State.

My enthusiasm derives from simple but very profoundly impactful things that we committed to do last year in Kwara and which we have done.

The first is that we resolved to facilitate the use of Exchange of letters for the Transfer of title to land when states are transferring land to the Federal Government.

I am happy to report that there has been very inspiring compliance based on the several letters of exchange that I have received and which I have duly signed.

All I need say about this in terms of compliance is that if there is still any state yet to comply they should please do so very quickly.

This is an important matter to report to the public. It shows that we do not gather at this Council just to talk. It shows that we have the capacity to act. It shows that change is possible when people commit themselves and that Governments in Nigeria can get things done.

The other matter that enthuses me, is the progress report on our National Housing Programme about which I briefed this Council last year.

At the time of the Council meeting in August 2016, I reported that we were finalizing designs to accommodate our cultural, climactic and other diversities and that when the designs were completed we would commence construction to pilot the designs and test them for affordability and acceptability.

I am pleased to report that construction has started in 33 states where land has been made available.

This is fulfilment of another commitment made at last year’s council by at least 90%.

This must give a lot of hope to our people that this Government will do what it says, and I want to thank all the states who gave us land, the staff of the Ministry who have worked hard to drive the programme, and the Honourable Minister of State, Mustapha Baba Shehuri who has been visiting and inspecting project sites.

I have myself made whistle stop visits to our sites in Taraba, Gombe, Ekiti, Oyo, and what I saw demonstrates to me very clearly how impactful the National Housing Programme has been, even at the pilot and inception stage.

The bricklayers I met in Taraba, Gombe and Ekiti, Rilwanu Adamu and Abubakar Umar, who asked me to thank President Buhari, for putting them back to work, the owners of the cement mixer in Oyo who said that his  equipment has been idle for 2 years but was now earning N20,000 daily on our site in Oyo.

And of course, Mr and Mrs Emmanuel, a builder and caterer respectively who live in Lagos, but who now find dignity, labour and employment at our Oyo site, by participating in building and food supply.

And this brings me to the theme of this year’s Council meeting which is “Building for Inclusion, Growth and Prosperity”.

Yes, it is true that we have a National Housing deficit, and while some choose to engage themselves by discussing about the size of the deficit, we choose to engage ourselves by doing something about the deficit.

This is because, every building we start and ultimately complete is a blow to the size of the deficit which no amount of talk can inflict.

We understand that every nation has a housing deficit and the bigger the size of the population, the size of the growth rate and the size of the urbanization rate, the bigger the size of the deficit.

But while we commit to the National policy of delivering affordable housing, we must look at short, medium and intermediate streams of opportunities for employment, productivity, skill development, restoration of dignity of our people which lie within the housing delivery value chain.

This is consistent with one of the Pillars of the Economic Theory and Growth Launched by President Buhari, which is “investing in our people.”

Apart from the artisans that I have spoken about, it might interest you to also know that 653 contractors were engaged in the pilot scheme to deliver 2,736 units. A total of 54,680 people were employed in the process.

The opportunities for inclusion will include masonry, electrical, plumbing, welding, supplies of materials, transportation and many more.

Our desire is to multiply these opportunities this year and beyond.

One of the directives that I have given to our staff is to review the procurement requirements and guidelines in consultation with our legal department, to ensure that we open the opportunities for participation.

Yes, I understand the need to get value for money and the processes that have been put in place by previous administrations to guide procurement.

The question we must ask ourselves then is whether we have truly saved money and whether we have developed?

On the evidence that is available, the country has clearly made more money from oil sales in the last decade that cannot be accounted for by way of project delivery and infrastructure development.

But if this was not enough problem, the procurement requirements then limits the amount of advance payment Government can pay to 15% and sets conditions that overlook the level of literacy of the vast majority of our people and the nature of small businesses that they run.

My experience in the last 20 months is that small businesses have difficulty complying with our procurement process and this requires not only policy reviews as I have ordered, but also legislative intervention by parliament.

This is one of the actions we must take to fulfil the objectives of the theme of this Council so that we can build for inclusion, for growth and for prosperity.

While our National Housing Programme, is the first of its type on a National scale in many decades that seeks to respond to the deficit, government agencies such as the Federal Mortgage Bank, Federal Housing Authority are being repositioned to play their role more effectively to address the Housing problem.

For example, the Federal Housing Authority has been mandated by the ministry to reposition herself to be one of our champions of housing delivery based on her previous track record.

Similarly, the Federal Mortgage Bank continues to deepen participation in the National Housing Fund which forms a reliable pool of funding from which she lends money to contributors by way of mortgage loans to acquire houses.

In addition, the bank has granted loans to estate developers to build houses; and from their recent report to me, they currently have 3,823 housing units available for sale in various states of the Federation.

The ministry has directed that these units, their prices, description, location and eligibility criteria be widely publicized in transparent offers to Interested members of the public.

The next level of intervention which the ministry is developing is the use of co-operatives.

This is very important to the theme and purpose of this year's Council meeting which centers around inclusion.

Our experience has shown that very sizable parts of our population who are productive and self-employed have been excluded from formal processes that regulate access to Funding, land or housing.

However, these large number of people operate successfully by themselves, in groups which they form as co-operatives to protect their common interests and pursue their developmental objectives.

Co-operatives have been very prolific and successful in sectors like agriculture and market organizations where the vulnerability of an individual is transformed into the strength of a group.

Our Government sees no reason why the successes of co-operatives in these sectors cannot be utilized to facilitate housing delivery, access and inclusion.

We are determined to place the might of government at the disposal of groups who can form themselves into co-operatives, as enabling capacity to acquire the land, take loans, build for themselves and operate a rent to own policy for those who cannot pay full ownership cost at start.

When our work on the review of the existing laws, and the processes for eligibility are completed, we will undertake a national launch and enlightenment program to kick the active use of co-operatives in housing delivery.

I have chosen to speak about this plan at this meeting because the success of this initiative will depend on what is done at state level; and many, if not all, states are represented here.

Your readiness and willingness to give land to well constituted cooperatives will be a critical determinant to success and inclusion.

So, this serves as notice for you to start thinking ahead about what your respective states can offer to the initiative.

Before I conclude, I will like to go back to the issue of the deficit in housing and set the context, not only how it has grown with our size but also why some seem so terrified of approaching it.

When we started this national housing program, my attention was brought to the fact that there had been no national housing program since the end of the second republic in 1983, which is about 34 years ago.

I must of course not be mistaken for saying that there were no housing interventions. There were. But they were neither sustained nor were they implemented on a national scale.

This omission is a big contributing factor to the size of the deficit and the exclusion of people.

Of course, there has always been a National Housing Policy, which seeks to deliver affordable housing, but as I said there is no program to implement and actualize the policy.

This government has now formulated that national program by concept, design and now pilot stage implementation which in the early stages has already created opportunities for 653 contractors, and created 13,680 direct jobs and 41,000 indirect jobs.

What we must do therefore is to repeat this program year on year, not only at federal level but also at state level.

Ladies and gentlemen, if we do this and also successfully implement the housing cooperatives, leverage private sector capacity, strengthen FHA and FMBN to play their roles, we will be creating a housing economy that will irreversibly and positively transform our nation forever.

Not only will we be addressing one of the problems of urbanization, we will unleash the capacity to build for inclusion, for growth and prosperity.

In this way, the size of the deficit of housing will become an economic opportunity to immense proportions rather than a social burden to be scared of.

Thank you very much for your attention.

Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing

Thursday 24th August 2017

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Photo News
11 December, 2018

FASHOLA NGIGE INSPECT THE ZIK MAUSOLEUM AND CONFERENCE CENTRE BUILT IN HONOUR OF THE FIRST PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA LATE RT HON NNAMDI AZIKIWE IN ONITSHA ANAMBRA STATE

Hon Minister of Power Works Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN 2nd right Hon Minister of Labour and Employment Dr Chris Ngige 2nd left the Federal Controller of Housing in Anambra State Mr Nwachukwu Achebe and others during the inspection of the completed Zik Mausoleum and Conference Centre built in honour of the first President of Nigeria Late Rt Hon Nnamdi Azikiwe in Onitsha Anambra State on Monday 10th December 2018

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Power News
Photo News
11 December, 2018

FASHOLA INSPECTS THE ONGOING REHABILITATION OF OUTSTANDING SECTIONS OF ONITSHA ENUGU EXPRESSWAY ENUGU AMANSEA STATE BORDER IN ENUGU STATE AND UMUNYA AMAWBIA SECTION IN ANAMBRA STATE

Work in Progress Hon Minister of Power Works Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN right speaking to media men shortly after inspecting the ongoing Rehabilitation of Outstanding Sections of Onitsha Enugu Expressway Enugu Amansea Enugu State border in Enugu State and Umunya Amawbia Section in Anambra State on Monday 10th December 2018

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