***As Fashola asks NASS to consider outstanding
Senate panels on Works and Housing have commended the Federal Government over massive construction of roads and housing projects across the country.
Commendations from the Committees to the Federal Government, came during separate 2023 budget defence sessions the Minister of Works and Housing , Babatunde Fashola had with them on Wednesday.
Fashola in his presentation to the Hosing Committee said the National Housing Project which started in 2016. has produced over 3, 000 Housing units across 35 out of the 36 states of the federation with involvement of 1, 250 contractors .
According to him , the 6, 000 Housing units has created 46 construction sites across the country , 29, 030 direct employment and 57, 874 indirect employment .
“The National Housing Project is very much on course but the problems of paucity of fund through drastic budget slash and outstanding liabilities of N191.75billion , need to be urgently looked into .
“In 2022 fiscal year , while the total capital votes for both Works and Housing Components of the Ministry was N441.18billion , the proposal made for 2023 fiscal year is N146billion .
“Out of the proposed N146billion as capital expenditure for the entire Ministry in 2023 fiscal year , only N45billion is earmarked for Housing sector ” , he said .
He therefore appealed to the committee headed by Senator Sam Egwu , to help in pushing for consideration of the N191.75billion owed contractors .
Virtually all the members of the Committee in separate remarks, commended the Minister for achieving much with little resources.
Specifically the Chairman of the Committee said : “The Federal Government through your ministry has performed creditably well in the Housing sector through the National Housing Project.
“Continuation of such project by successive administrations , will no doubt, help in addressing the problem of Housing deficit in the country “
Similar commendation came the way of the Minister from the Senate Committee on Works.
The Committee headed by Senator Adamu Aliero, said partisan politics apart , the Muhammadu Buhari led federal government has done well as far as roads constructions are concerned.
“The Second Niger Bridge,aa Lagos / Ibadan Expressway , Abuja – Kaduna – Kano highway etc , all nearing completion , are no doubt , signature projects for the administration and highly beneficial to Nigeria and Nigerians “, he said .
Fashola had in his presentation to the committee said : “The main challenge to highways development in the country remains inadequate funding .
“As at date, government is committed to highway contractors to the tune of about N10.4trillion while a total of about N765billion are unpaid certificates for executed works .
“Secondly, the shortage of younger Engineers / Technical officers in the Ministry as a result of embargo on employment is affecting proficient project supervision at the sites.