Nigeria

Babatunde Fashola: Coronavirus led to project abandonment, cost overrun

Speaking at the inauguration of a 969-metre `Rebisi’ dual carriage flyover in Port Harcourt, on Saturday, Minister of Works and Housing, by Mr Babatunde Fashola, who made the pronouncement also said that the Federal Government “is not in competition with any state’’ of the federation over project implementation.

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the COVID-19 pandemic led to project abandonment, cost overrun and claims and litigations arising from construction disputes.

He also said it led to permanent job losses, cost overrun and the impact of which was felt more by low and medium income earners.

The minister added that it is important to urgently put together a sustainable and encompassing framework to encourage the identification of new local materials for manufacturing the required building components.

Fashola said this in Abuja, at a two-day national workshop of the 109th Council Meeting of the Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria (AHCN), titled, “Addressing housing challenges of low and medium income earners through alternative building materials”.

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The minister, who was represented at the occasion by Director (Construction), of the Ministry, Arc. Bashir Usman stated: “It is coming against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic that has led to permanent job losses, project abandonment, cost overrun, time overrun, claims and litigation arising from construction disputes, the impact of which is felt more by low and medium income earners.

“I, therefore, cannot but completely agree on the importance of urgently putting together a sustainable and encompassing framework to encourage the identification of new local materials for the manufacture of required building components and to also encourage the expansion of existing industries producing building materials from local sources such as clay, bricks, timber etc.”

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On his part, the President/Chairman of AHCN, Dr. Victor Onukwugha, said it is important that Nigerians look inward to create sustainable solutions that will address housing challenges and rising housing deficits.

He said, “Several options and strategies have been tried to address housing challenges in the past and the nation is still bedevilled with rising housing deficit ranging

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