The Federal Government is currently managing over 1,000 roads and bridges’ construction contracts across the country, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said.
He disclosed this in Abuja at the inauguration of Dr. Olufunmilade Akingbabohun as the 15th National Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
Fashola, who was represented by the Minister of State for Works and Housing, Mu’azu Sambo, described the contracts as unprecedented, adding that the construction works were done despite limited income.
The minister said, “Currently we are managing over 1,000 contracts of roads and bridges construction and rehabilitation covering over 13,000km.
“This is an unprecedented undertaking in our national history and it is being taken on at a time where there was a recession and dwindling national income.
“Thankfully and happily, the fruits are becoming evident, travel time is getting shorter along several transport routes, projects are being completed as we enter what I call a season of completion and commissioning.”
Fashola explained that if Nigeria lacked choices in the quantity and quality of infrastructure available to pursue its legitimate aspirations, it would have an unwelcome and unhappy relationship with poverty.
He said, “If it takes us three hours to travel 100km and another jurisdiction can do it in one hour, that jurisdiction will be more efficient, more productive and inevitably more prosperous than us.
Commenting on the inauguration of the new NIMECHE president, Fashola noted that a woman engineer was a rare specimen, whose numbers should multiply.
“But when you colour that with a woman mechanical engineer who is being inaugurated as chairperson of a male-dominated institute (and I do not intend to be misogynistic), you can only contemplate how exotic and historic the event will be,” he stated.