Minister of Works, Dr. Hassan Muhammad Lawal, CON, disclosed the new initiative at a meeting in his Mabushi Abuja office Commissioners responsible for Works, Housing and Urban Development from the States in the South-South Geopolitical zone.
He noted that all the three tiers of Government had concurrent responsibilities for the provision of roads and housing infrastructure in all parts of the country, and that the need for regular consultations, complementary and collaborative strategies was obvious to all.
He urged other Commissioners from other geopolitical zones to emulate the Commissioners from the South-South zone.
Addressing the meeting, the Minister of State for Works, Housing and Urban Development, Chief (Mrs.) Grace Ekpiwhre, disclosed that the Commissioners were also meeting with officials of the Niger Delta Ministry and the Niger Delta Development Commission to review and harmonize programmes and projects, with a view to eliminating duplication of projects and wastage of resources.
The following Commissioners were present at the meeting: Engr. Emmanuel Frank-Opigo, Hon. Commissioner for Works & Transport, Bayelsa State; Engr. Erhauyi Obayagbonna, Hon. Commissioner for Works, Edo State; Dakuku Adol Peterside, Hon. Commissioner for Works, Rivers State; Hon. Bassey Ekefre, Hon. Commissioner for Works, Cross River State; Omordi George Ugbomole, Hon. Commissioner for Works, Delta State.
In another development the Minister of Works has assured Tanker drivers in the country that all roads leading to Refineries and Ports have been awarded for rehabilitation or reconstruction.
Addressing the Quadrennial Delegates Conference of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers under the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers Union (NUPENG), in Abuja the Minister disclosed that the total value of the contracts awarded in respect of access roads to the Ports and refineries stood at N18.7 billion.
He recalled that other contracts to rehabilitate federal roads had been earlier awarded, and were being adequately funded and effectively monitored and supervised to ensure quality and timely completion.
He urged the new leadership that will emerge from the delegates conference to maintain the patriotic vision and tradition of the union, and to eschew playing to the gallery. He stated that the union was a very vital and critical stakeholder and contributor to the national economy, describing them as livewire of the economy. He stated that any rash decision to embark on strike without exhausting all avenues for peaceful and amicable negotiation and settlement of issues will have profound and damaging consequences on the economy.
He pledged the determination and commitment of his Ministry to ensuring that the bad roads inherited by the Yar’dua administration were better funded and supervised to ensure better roads for Nigerians.