A pro-democracy organization, Centre for Dignity in Governance (CDG), has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore the antics of some a hired blackmailers who have mounted campaigns of calumny against the immediate past Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN).
This advice is contained in an exclusive statement by the CDG’s National President, Comrade Razaq Olokoba, made available to worldtopnewsng.com in response to a recycled letter released over the weekend in which an organisation asked the President to drop the nomination of Fashola from the list of the latest ministerial nominees.
The puerile and jaundiced reason for the call to drop him, according to the CDG was that, “Fashola refused to ensure good federal roads within Lagos and Ogun.”
Olokoba, who said he was not surprised by the renewed campaigns of hate against Fashola reminded that, “the leader of the cantankerous organization, going by his unrepentant antics for falsehood against Fashola from his days as Governor in Lagos,” saying, “he must be sounding like a broken record now.”
Noting that the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing which Fashola supervised manages 34,000km of Federal Roads spread across the six (6) geo-political zones of the country, the CDG said that in his ridiculous manner and usual display of hatred for Fashola that, “he will reduce his intervention to narrow, selfish demands borne out of sheer desperation.”
Explaining that from its group’s investigations, Olokoba said he discovered that the funding requirements needed to keep the critical road infrastructure in good shape was not provided by previous administrations, stating that the Federal Government under President Buhari and with Fashola in the Ministry prioritized the hitherto abandoned projects to facilitate connectivity and to enhance socio-economic activities across the country.
Olokoba recalled that the 2015 Appropriation for the Works Sector was in the paltry sum of N18.132bn for all the Ministry’s Highway projects. This situation made most of the contractors to abandon their sites, retrench their personnel and shut down their operations. However, the Appropriation for 2016, 2017 and 2018 were in the sums of N260bn, N274bn and N356bn while the releases were in the sums of N198.3bn, N177bn and N128.784bn respectively.
These funds, CDG noted, were expended on both inherited and new projects awarded by the Federal Government and improved funding since 2016 ensured that contractors returned back to site and projects that were hitherto abandoned due to inadequate funding were revived, with accompanying socio-economic activities while also providing jobs for the nation’s technical professionals, artisans, skilled and unskilled labour.
With Fashola in the saddle, the pro-democracy Group noted, no part of the country was left behind in terms of roads and power projects while the National Housing Programme has been completed or reached advanced stages in the 34 States that provided land for the Ministry.
With specific reference to Lagos and the South West in general, the CDG noted that the Federal Government through the Ministry which Fashola as head has ensured that work resumed and is progressing on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway that connects three states of Lagos, Ogun and Oyo; and links to Ondo and beyond just as it is progressing on the Benin-Ore-Sagamu road with the resultant reduction in travel time.
Other major roads in the Southwest like the Lagos-Otta-Abeokuta Road, the Ikorodu-Sagamu road, which had been deserted and left to decay, now have contractors at work, Olokoba submitted.
With the contract awarded and to be funded through the innovative Tax Credit initiative the Apapa- TinCan – Mile 2 -Oshodi- Oworonshoki road is now being addressed to provide a final solution for the gridlock that was inherited from the last government, the CDG stated.
Both professionals and ordinary citizens are meaningfully engaged at the Sites of the National Housing Programme going on in 34 States of the country including the South West States with the exception of Lagos which didn’t provide land then, the Group said.
While in the Power Sector, the Group said it could recall several completed Transmission Sub-stations in Odogunyan, Ejigbo, Ilashe among several other places and the fact that Magboro, Mowe, Ibafo, Ondo (North and South) which were communities that were never connected to power supply before are now connected and experiencing power supply or in the process of being connected.
Expressing the hope that recalcitrant organization that sees nothing good in Fashola will sooner than later repent and name those who often recruit him for the slavish errands of trying to pull the well acknowledged Actualizer in the person of Babatunde Fashola SAN down.
The CDG said it looks forward to the screening and eventual clearance of the former Minister and his deployment by President Muhammadu Buhari to continue his good works in the service of his fatherland.
“The decision by President Muhammadu Buhari to re-appoint Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola is a delight to many Nigerians, the CDG commends the President on behalf of Nigerians for this commendable step and for all the other appointments, we enjoin the President to continue his good work and ignore blackmailers whose antics are aimed at detracting achiever,” the CDG concluded.