Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Minister of Works, Housing and Power, Mr.Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) has reiterated the commitment of the federal government to include and collaborate with various stakeholders in housing, land and urban sector of the economy in order to ensure employment generation and sustainable economic development of the country.
He disclosed this in Ilorin, Kwara state capital, on Thursday at the 5th meeting of national council on land, housing and urban development.
The meeting was attended by 36 states commissioners and permanent secretaries of ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.
He said that such collaboration process had helped to build infrastructure in Europe, Asia and many parts of the Middle East.
According to him, “I must advise that collaboration, inclusion and employment will not happen by happenstance. They will not happen simply because governments plans to spend money and actually does so. Yes, the budget will work, money will be spent, but inclusion may not happen and the people targeted for the benefit may not benefit if the benefit is transferred to
foreign countries, to foreign factories because professionals either do not participate or where they do, they prefer foreign made or imported goods to local ones.
So, one objective of this council meeting and its theme is to emphasis to all members that it is only those who are willing to act, those who are willing to work, and those who are willing to get their hands dirty by blasting rocks, by moving sand, cement, iron rods, making doors, moulding blocks, pouring concrete and so on; who will help us to create inclusion in this economic process.
“This is a process that has helped to build the infrastructure of Europe, of Asia and indeed many parts of the Middle East. It is the process by which we would also rebuild our economy. This is part of what diversification means. This is part of what President Buhari means when he talks of diversifying the economy through agriculture and through mining.
Indeed it is from agriculture that we would get wood and timber to build, and it is from mining that we would get sand, that we would get rocks, that we would get cement and make tiles with which to finish our houses. This is why our housing policy is critical to drive the economy in this direction”.
“As you will be aware, one of the decisions taken by the Buhari administration is to increase the capital spending in 2016 budget to 30% of the total budget size of N6.06trn.”