The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said he is not overwhelmed running the affairs of the three key infrastructure-providing ministries.
Speaking at the inaugural edition of ‘Buharimeter,’ town hall meeting organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Fashola said the ministry was not bigger than Lagos State which he successfully governed for eight years.
According to The Cable, Fashola said: “In terms of the size of my ministry, I don’t think it is bigger than the ministries that I have superintended before. I am very grounded on that level. There are almost 30 ministries in Lagos and about 57 parastatals, and I was involved on a day-to-day basis,” he said.
“What is different this time is that I am working with a team that I have just met, so and it is taking time to understand everybody. We are having regular meetings. I need to know everybody on beat by name and by face. It’s like playing football, and you don’t know your teammate and you want him to pass, you’ll say ‘O boy pass’, but after a while you know each other by name and you will bond better.
“Also, knowing the assets I am managing, visiting the sites, the power plants, touring the roads by driving rather than flying, and that’s taking some time. I have seen all of it on paper and I don’t think that it is something that has overwhelmed me.
“I have a minister of state who is assisting me. I have a permanent secretary in charge of power, and I have a permanent secretary who is overseeing works and housing because we are in the same place, and I have very, very competent staff.”
He said under his watch, the ministry would deliver on its mandate of provision of electricity, good roads and affordable houses.
Speaking on the score card of the ministry in the last one year, Fashola said he adopted three stages of “incremental, steady and uninterrupted supply” in the power sector.
He said the country attained 5,000 megawatts electricity generation in February before the height in attacks on gas pipelines and oil infrastructure in the Niger Delta.
The minister noted that 23 of 26 power generation plants in the country were gas powered and the challenge of assessing gas was responsible for the drop in electricity.
He said the administration was putting measures in place to resolve the problem, adding that the hitherto bad Jebba – Ilorin road had been fixed, and contractors would return to site of Lagos-Ibadan expressway in a week’s time.
He said the ministry was working on affordable housing project.