The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has expressed commitment of the Federal Government to source materials for national building plans from the local capacities as a means of creating employment and sustainable development.
Speaking at the fifth National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development held in Ilorin, Kwara State, Fashola said that such process had helped to build infrastructure of Europe, Asia and many parts of the Middle East.
During council meeting which was tagged, “Building Adequate Capacity of Professionals, Artisans and Tradesmen in the Built Environment,” held on Thursday, August 24, Mr. Fashola explained that using made in Nigeria items in the national building plans, would encourage professionals in the building and construction sector to showcase their talents as well as develop the nation’s economy.
He therefore, tasked Nigerian professionals on evolving made in Nigeria products especially paints, doors, keys and other building materials, assuring them that his ministry would continue to patronise the locally made products in the building sector.
The Minister however, stressed that only professionals willing the soil their hands can benefit. He said:
“I must advise that inclusion and employment will not happen by happenstance. They will not happen simply because governments plans to spend money and actually does so.
“Yes, the budget will work, money will be spent, but inclusion may not happen and the people targeted for the benefit may not benefit if the benefit is transferred to foreign countries, to foreign factories because professionals either do not participate or where they do, they prefer foreign made or imported goods to local ones.
“So, one objective of this council meeting and its theme is to emphasis to all members that it is only those who are willing to act, those who are willing to work, and those who are willing to get their hands dirty by blasting rocks, by moving sand, cement, iron rods, making doors, moulding blocks, pouring concrete and so on; who will help us to create inclusion in this economic process,”
On the issue of good roads and power supply, Mr. Fashola explained that the government had signed a number of agreements to develop hydro, solar and gas sources of power generation. He assured Nigerians of the determination of the Federal Government to improve the nation’s roads to ensure proper distribution of goods.