Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, disclosed Thursday that the federal government is proposing N76billion for capital projects in 2021 fiscal year, with a view to completing ongoing projects across the country.
Fashola, who spoke while defending the 2021 budgetary proposals for the housing sector before the National Assembly joint Committee on Housing, put the outstanding liabilities to contractors at N69.9billion.
According to the minister, prioritization of projects by the ministry for the 2021 fiscal year, was necessitated by the difficult situation at hand of having N76billion approved for capital projects in the coming fiscal year, a little above the N69.9billion outstanding liabilities.
The liabilities, he explained, are monies owed the various constructors handling series of capital projects for the ministry across the country.
“The N76billion projected for the Ministry as capital expenditure for the 2021 fiscal year is based on envelope prescription from the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
“Nonetheless, the basis of implementation of the 2021 budget will be anchored on priority areas geared towards projects completion.
“Completion of construction of the remaining 2,140 units of houses under the National Housing Programme in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory , is one of the priority areas to be focused on,” he said.
Other projects targeted for completion by the ministry in the 2021 fiscal year as declared by the minister are the completion of ongoing federal secretariats in Anambra, Bayelsa, Ekiti, Nasarawa, Osun and Zamfara States.
Upgrading, completion and running of Building Craft Training Schools in Yaba and Onikan, Lagos State.
Design and installation of Solar Power PV Microgrid System and Energy Retrofitting of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing Headquarters, Mabushi, Abuja etc.
He explained to the committee that the major factor militating against timely completion of projects, is insufficient budgetary provisions which requires affected agencies to go the extra mile in getting the required funds for project implementation.
Aside poor budgetary provisions , Fashola told the committee members that another challenge the ministry is grappling with and by extension, the nation as a whole, is that of maintenance and operation of public buildings.
He suggested that all MDAs should provide a sum representing 2-10 percent of capital budget annually as maintenance provision.
“Maintenance and operation has the potential to employ as much as 10 percent of country’s working population and contribute up to eight to GDP, as adjudged in the United Kingdom by British Institute of Facilities Management and other climes in varying ratios, such as South Africa, Namibia, Australia etc “.
Chairman of the committee , Senator Sam Egwu (PDP Ebonyi North), assured the Minister that the 2021 budgetary estimates for the Housing sector, will be critically looked into by all the members with view to making appropriate Appropriation for the ministry.
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