By Grace Alegba
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Alhaji Babangida Hussaini, on Tuesday expressed satisfaction at the progress being made on Federal roads and housing projects in Lagos.
Hussaini during a technical inspection of roads and housing projects in Lagos State said that the Federal Government was committed to Lagos infrastructure upgrade, renewal and maintenance.
The permanent secretary, who led a delegation of top engineers from Abuja and the South West on the tour, said the team had visited various sites across the nation, adding that, they were in Lagos to continue the inspection from where the Minister for Works and Housing had stopped.
He expressed satisfaction with the completion of work on top of the Third Mainland Bridge, as well as ongoing rehabilitation works on the abutment under the bridge.
He said that the Buhari regime would ensure constant attention on the Third Mainland Bridge to ensure up to date regular maintenance checks and repairs.
“I am impressed with the pace of work on almost all the sites we visited, the Third Mainland Bridge is working fine, the first segment of the work has been done and they are working under.
“And We shall continue to monitor and improve on the safety of the structural integrity of that facility because often times, the problem we have is about maintaining our existing facilities and infrastructure,”he said.
Hussaini said that the headquarters of federal ministries were formerly in Lagos hence the need to inspect and maintain the buildings in Lagos State.
“One of the policy imperatives of this administration is to set up the federal asset management department. It is always important for us to be looking at these facilities to maintain them and keep them in good shape,”he said.
He said it cost a lot to maintain the buildings but it was “quite unfortunate” that government was constrained by funds which was impeding the maintenance efforts on some of the buildings.
He said that the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing would continue to maintain the edifices, adding that, decision to sell or lease any of the properties would be a policy issue that only the federal government could make.
He explained that the Presidential Implementation Committee was currently handling the issue of the abandoned old Secretariat buildings in Ikoyi.
He said that the Federal Ministry of Housing Training School for artisans being rehabilitated in Onikan, would improve capacity in the construction industry and tackle youth unemployment.
“Basically if you look at the technical cadre generally, the turn over of experienced and capable hands are high, therefore, they need to have a fresh system of restocking what we have lost.
“Which is very important and that is why we are using the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan to retrain our youths and to give them the skills so that they can serve as artisans to support the officers who are engineers and who work on projects on sites,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the team began its inspection from the top of the Third Mainland Bridge and later inspected ongoing works underneath the bridge.
The team went into a closed door evaluation meeting before continuing its trip to the Federal Ministry of Housing Training School in Onikan.
They later visited ongoing road projects on Outer Marina and Bonny Camp on Lagos Island as well as ongoing shorelines protection projects in the Victoria Island axis. (NAN)