Speech By Babatunde Raji Fashola At The Commissioning Of Federal Secretariat Complex, Lafia
SPEECH DELIVERED BY H.E BABATUNDE RAJI FASHOLA, SAN AT THE OFFICIAL COMMISSIONING OF THE FEDERAL SECRETARIAT COMPLEX IN BUKAR SIDI, ALONG JOS ROAD , LAFIA, NASARAWA, STATE ON SATURDAY, 4TH FEBRUARY, 2023
Mr President, on behalf of the honourable Minister of State, Works and Housing, the Permanent Secretary and all the directors and members of staff of the Ministry of Works and Housing, I welcome you to the site of the Federal Secretariat Complex in Lafia, Nasarawa State and say with pride that we delivered on your mandate.
I also wish to state that we did not do it alone. It has taken the effort of an entire village to complete this project.
Members of this village include my colleagues in the Federal Executive Council, who voted for this project to be resurrected and completed, the Chairmen of the Senate and House committees on Housing and their members who oversighted the project and the National Assembly as a whole who approved the budget.
Other prominent members of that village include various permanent secretaries and directors of public building in a ministry who kept faith and pushed against the odds.
The village was large enough to accommodate the state Government actors to work with Federal Government actors; and the Governors of Nasarawa State from H.E Tanko Almakura and later, Engr. Abdullahi Sule, the incumbent Governor, deserve acknowledgement and commendation for their contributions and support.
The peaceful environment provided by the people of Nasarawa enabled the private sector, through our contractor, Messrs Faplins Nigeria Limited to operate within our village of development.
Interestingly, the Company is owned by one Chief Linus Ukachukwu, M.O.N, a leading light of the main opposition party in Anambra State.
Although your emergence as President threw Chief Ukachukwu’s party out of Government, you did not throw Chief Ukachukwu out of business.
Mr. President, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the fulfilment of your mandate has delivered, a built-up area of 6,756 m2 of 402 offices, 300parking spaces on 10.9 hectares of land.
In the process, 172 persons were indirectly employed and engaged during the construction process. The furniture was produced in Nigeria by an indigenous contractor in conformity with your Executive Order No. 5 aimed at promoting local content.
Since the completion, we have engaged a firm of facility managers to undertake scheduled and preventive maintenance in the spirit of Executive Order No.11 for the promotion and development of the maintenance economy, as part of our job creation and prosperity initiative to lift people out of poverty.
I am able to report that the maintenance economy is also spreading across Nigeria because we have, in addition to rehabilitating 28 existing federal secretariats, employed facility managers for them and each facility manager now employs at least 40 members in sustainable long-term jobs which were not available before the maintenance programme commenced.
Mr. President, my team and I are grateful for the privilege and opportunity to serve in this capacity and for your support throughout the period.
Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
Honourable Minister of Works and Housing