BY Babatunde Moshood
The proof of the pudding is in the eating, says an old English proverb but let’s tweak that a little to say that the proof of a sterling performance in public office may be said to lie in the quantum of verifiable evidence made available to the public.
This is the first impression that strikes you upon perusing the compendium from the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing. Title “Proof of Infrastructure Delivery Across Nigeria,” a special presentation of three years of work in the three-in-one ministry.
If there were any such thing it would be said that Proof of Infrastructure is a beautiful book. Hardcover, wrapped and carefully produced by people with eye for photographic quality and aesthetic page design and management.
The book is pleasing to the eye and a joy to read unlike most documents that emanate from government agencies. It is a mixture of well-written first-hand accounts and if we might add, independent articles, policy papers, speeches and a surfeit of photographs of real places. Since photographs don’t lie as we say, it means an independent assessor can check out every claim made in this 320 page compendium.
But we do not speak about beauty pageant and fashion show here, far from it. We are dealing with the arcana of brick and mortar. We are talking about issues that trouble the average Nigerian most viz: Power, Works and Housing.
To break it down further, we are talking about the whole gamut of road infrastructure, bridges, electricity generation, transmission and distribution. We are talking about mass housing across the country especially for the low and medium income earners.
Any Nigerian who cares about the situation in Power, Works and Housing in Nigeria must get a copy of this book. Journalists, analysts, private sector heads, businessmen and Nigerians generally who seek to understand issues in this sector need to go through this compendium.
Particularly notable is that the publication takes us to every nook and cranny of Nigeria; indeed the pictures and words from the six regions of Nigeria are as enchanting as they are eye-opening. Readers of this book are exposed to governance in motion; perhaps for the first time in this country, Nigerians see a minister at work. The book reveals to Nigerians, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN at work. It shows us his leadership methods, his mindsets, his capacity and drive.
It shows us how three major ministries merged into one has been lead to operate seamlessly by producing enormous results over three years.
The quantum and quality of information provided in this compendium are in themselves stunning and delightful. For instance, the annual budget for this ministry rose from N57.91billion in 2015 to N467.6billion in 2016 – an increase of 700 percent under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari. With the same quantum progression, projects have literally leapt into life across the country.
This compendium billed for public presentation on April 29 should be in every home and office in Nigeria.
-Moshood, a freelance journalist, is based in Lagos.