The Federal Government says it is committed to employ and empower the indigenous artisans to boost national economy.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said this at a Forum in Abuja.
Fashola said that the Federal Government had engaged indigenous artisans nationwide in the ongoing National Housing Programme (NHP), not only for job creation but to improve the Gross Domestic Product.
With the ongoing housing project in the 35 states of the federation, he said that workers and artisans nationwide were very enthusiastic on the opportunity given by the NHP to be back to work.
“Government is committed to infrastructure because it wants to grow the economy and create opportunities for prosperity.
“And no economy can grow bigger than the size of this infrastructure.
“But between the period when government commits to infrastructure and when the infrastructure is finally delivered and able to render service that helps the economy, there are so many intervening considerations that happen.’’
He said that people could get employed on the high way of construction, though gestation time of that infrastructure could be five years, two years or six months.
“But during that period, hundreds of thousands of people are involved in construction, supply, maintenance and movement of goods and materials that actually aggregate to the delivery of the infrastructure.
“So the best way to look at it is this way: you contract a builder to build a house for you; as the house owner you may want that house done within a specified period, but at the end of the day it does not happen that way.
“Those who are supplying materials in the site for the construction of the house want it to go on forever. And that is what is happening during the delivery of infrastructure.
“We need to strike a balance between quick completion within reasonable time and the support it gives to families to earn a living,” Fashola said.
He said the ministry was piloting a national housing programme and constructing houses in 35 states to ensure more Nigerians owned homes.
“We are doing this to validate and test what type of housing design responds to Nigeria’s diverse cultural, climatic and religious needs, to ascertain what is acceptable and affordable.”
Amaka E. Nliam