By Emma Amaize
MINISTER of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, last night, challenged the Governors of the South-South to change the conversation about the region in the interest of the people, assuring that the Federal Government was ready to play its part.
Fashola threw the challenge when he paid a courtesy call on the governor of Bayelsa State, Hon Seriake Dickson at Govermnent House. Yenagoa.
He said it was the responsibility of the governor and other governors to fast track the development of the states in the region, adding that federal government would also make its impact felt more in the region The minister remarked that many road projects awarded in the past were not funded and he was working with the National Assembly to introduce bulk payment to contractors for jobs, which they have obtained certificates.
“We will take control of the budget, the National Assembly is responding to our proposal, contractors should leave our budget alone, they should concentrate on their work and come with their certificates “ he said.
Governor Dickson, who commended Fashola for his sterling performance as Lagos state governor, said Bayelsans and Nigerians were very hopeful that with him, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration would perform in the areas of works, power and housing.
He, however, noted that federal presence in the state in these critical areas were negligible.
On the challenge by the minister, he had noted earlier that sin ce he assumed office. he had turned the state to a construction site and cost of executing projects in the region was 20 per cent the cost in other parts of the country because of the topography.