The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN has again reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to empower Federal Controllers of Works in the states; even as he appealed to State governments to forge a cordial working relationship with them.
He stated this while paying a courtesy call to the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Ahlaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, before the commencement of the 5th National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development, in Ilorin.
The Minister reinforced the importance of the Federal Controllers as go between the States and the Ministry. He mentioned his inspection of the on-going rehabilitation works on the Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa-Birnin Gwari-Kaduna road emphasing that the road is a strategic corridor for the movement of goods and services between the Southwest and Northern parts of the country, as not less than 5, 000 trucks and 18, 000 small vehicles ply the route on a daily basis.
Fashola disclosed that this has resulted into reduced travel times and cost of vehicle maintenance.
Furthermore, the Minister mentioned that the present improved power situation in the country is largely hinged upon the repairs and maintenance of existing power plants nationwide. He confirmed the increase in power supply from above 2, 000 to about 5, 000 megawatts.
In his response, the Executive Governor of Kwara State said the State enjoy a good synergy with the Federal Controller of Works adding that for the first time in 16 years, the state is truly feeling the impact of the Federal Government.
He also reaffirmed that the State is a strategic link between the South-West and the Northern States, while pledging the resolve of the state to work in synergy with the Ministry.
Alhaji Ahmed lauded the structures and policies being put in place by the Minister since his assumption of duty towards providing affordable houses to Nigerians, announcing that Kwara State has keyed in by providing land for the proposed National Housing Scheme of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration.
He further disclosed that the State government is collaborating with private investors for the provision of power for cluster communities.
Earlier, the Minister invited the Federal Controller in the State, Engr. Omotayo Awosanya to brief His Excellency on Federal roads intervention in the State.
The Controller stated that the Federal road intervention in the state is divided into two parts; on-going projects and those captured in the 2016 Appropriation.
Engr. Awosanya added that only 15 kilometres is outstanding on the 93.6km on the section I of the project [Ilorin-Jebba] and that the contractor is already stock piling materials in anticipation of the dry season.
He also mentioned the approval granted by Mr President for the reimbursement of the State intervention on the economic important Kishi-Kaiama Federal road which connects the Kwara with Oyo State.
Among those who accompanied the Minister on the courtesy visit were the Minister of State, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri, the Federal Permanent Secretary, Works and Housing sector, Engr. Abubakar Magaji and other Federal delegates to the Council meeting.