The Federal Government has urged state governments to adopt “Infrastructure Maintenance Policy’’ to stimulate the economy of their states.
Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, made the call at the 27th meeting of the “National Council on Works” on Thursday, September 23, 2021 in Bauchi.
“All that we need to do is take a look at the state of existing infrastructure, and we are likely to see bridges with damaged expansion joints and bearings, buildings with broken windows and leaking pipes, doors that do not lock properly, toilets that do not work well and so much more.
“If we reflect on what we see, we will realise that these are jobs for plumbers, carpenters, printers, foundry workers and many more skilled and unskilled people,’’ Fashola said.
He added, “It is our responsibility to connect these people to the opportunities which infrastructure in disrepair represents for sustainable employment.’’
The minister explained that the Federal Government initiated the policy in 2019 and it was at implementation stage.
According to him, the Head of the Federal Civil Service approved the creation of the Department for Federal Public Asset Maintenance.
“The next step is for each Ministry, Department and Agency (MDA) to set up their own units for maintenance.
“It will undertake a condition assessment of their infrastructure, develop a maintenance plan, and implement the procurement for annual periodic and scheduled maintenance,’’ he said.
Fashola stressed that people were employed to inspect, assess, measure, document, photograph and do many things in the process of ascertaining infrastructure needs.
“In nine facilities that we assessed the conditions of fittings such as fans, air conditioners, light fittings, toilets and wash hand basin, we found that out of 41,800 installations 12,459 representing 29.8% were not functioning.
“These are people’s jobs to repair, supply, replace and install as the case may be.
“The development of the maintenance plan and the procurement plan leading to invitation to tender and award of maintenance contracts for rehabilitation and facility management is a sure pathway to job creation,’’ the minister said.
He said the Federal Government was currently undertaking maintenance works on 41 bridges that had employed 1,157 people directly and created 3,309 indirect jobs.
“We have facility management contracts for 25 federal secretariats across Nigeria after we completed renovation works. Each facility manager employs at least 40 people,’’ he said.
Gov. Bala Mohammmed said his administration had embarked on an accelerated urban renewal and rural development programme in an effort to improve the living conditions of the citizenry.
The governor was represented by his deputy, Mr Baba Tela.
Mohammed said that as a deliberate policy, his administration in the last two years, embarked on the provision of infrastructure that had direct bearing on the socio-economic life of the people.
“The hosting of the meeting by Bauchi State could not have come at a better time, now that my administration is focused on reversing the trend of infrastructure deficit and decay that has held back the socio-economic development of the state.
“With all sense of humility, I hold that the two years journey in infrastructure delivery can be described as one of the resolute pursuit of vision, mission, and innovative implementation in the face of fiscal challenges,’’ he said
The governor thanked the Federal Government for its support to the state government’s urban renewal drive through the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing
He said: “We appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari, for approving the expansion of dual carriageway of major federal roads in Bauchi metropolis.’’
By Ahmed Kaigama