By Chris Ochayi
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, has appealed to the communities, hosting various infrastructural projects to cooperate with contractors and other government officials involved in the execution of such projects in order to ensure successful completion of the projects.
Fashola, while making the appeal argued that smooth completion of infrastructural projects would fast track economic development that would transform the living standard of the people in host communities.
Recall, the Minister recently embarked a two-day inspection tour of on-going Highway Projects in Niger State.
He added that President Muhammadu Buhari was making the nation’s economy the front and centre of his administration’s Next Level Agenda.
Speaking at Bokani Junction in Niger State where he was briefed on the progress of work on the Dualization of Jebba-Mokwa-Bokani Road (Section II), Fashola said the President, in making this decision,
He said the administration has chosen the development of infrastructure as an anchor to achieve economic growth more quickly adding that the passing of the 2020 Budget in the first week of January was a clear indication of that decision.
“Whether you notice or not, the President has been very clear in his commitment to building infrastructure”, he said, adding that “The passing of the annual budget in the first month of the year has not happened in the country for a very long time.
“From the first day of the year, we already have a budget in place. That hasn’t happened for a budget to be in place in January in Nigeria for a long time”, he said adding that the economy forms “a very front and centre issue for the President and his Team”.
Underscoring the readiness of the government to pursue the goal, Fashola, said, we need the cooperation of the communities hosting infrastructural projects across the country.
He added that nothing would be achieved without the cooperation of the communities by way of peace and readiness to cede portions of their lands through which road projects must pass.
The Minister, who noted that the present Dry Season, which, according to him is expected to last for the next five to six months, was the best time to work and make progress on the road projects, said the cooperation of the people would be paramount in order not to lose the advantage provided by the period.
“This is the dry weather when we can do a lot of work if the communities cooperate with us.”
Although the President has directed that states hosting Federal road projects should handle all compensation issues, the Federal Government could always come back and deal with such issues. He added, “But we will lose the dry weather if we don’t get that cooperation quickly”.
Reiterating the commitment of President Buhari in getting the job done, Fashola declared, “The economy is the front and centre issue for the President “, adding that he and his team were in the State to inspect road projects as a demonstration of the commitment to infrastructure development.
The Minister, who emphasized the need for the cooperation of the host communities in the successful completion of the project, told the people, “So it is a lot of work going on here and we need people’s cooperation now to deliver it because that is what you are expecting. But we can’t do it alone”.