Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Works and Housing, has on Thursday, told the Joint National Assembly Committee on Housing, in Abuja, that his Ministry is owing 3,504 Contractors handling various housing projects in the country, about N69.9 billion,
He stated this when he appeared before the Committee, to defend his Ministry’s 2021 budget estimates.
Although, N76.4 billion was allocated to his Ministry in the 2021 budget, Fashola warned that the figure was grossly inadequate to execute 186 projects across the country.
He listed some of the priority areas in the 2021 budget, to include the completion of the construction of the remaining 2,140 housing units under the National Housing Programme in 34 States of the Federation, and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
Other priority areas identified by the Minister, are the completion of the construction of ongoing Federal Secretariats in Anambra, Bayelsa, Ekiti, Nasarawa, Osun, and Zamfara States.
According to Fashola, it is important to take the maintenance and operation of public buildings very seriously.
He also advocated that Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, MDAs, should provide a sum representing 2 to 10 percent of their annual capital budget, as maintenance provision.
The Minister explained that maintenance and operation have the potential to employ as much as 10 percent of the country’s working population, and contribute up to 8 percent to its Gross Domestic Product, GDP, as observed in the United Kingdom, UK, and in varying ratios in some other countries.
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