Faced with an eventual job cuts in the building and civil engineering firms, the Federal Government plans to inject massive funds in construction projects, especially in the road and housing sectors.
Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who stated this at the annual conference of the Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria (QSRBN) in Abuja, observed that government believes that massive investment and expenditure in infrastructure is one sure way of quickly taking Nigeria out of recession.
He said: “This administration, more than any other in recent times, has taken concrete measures to bridge the infrastructure deficit in Nigeria in the belief that the development of a nation’s infrastructure impacts positively on its economy.
Fashola who was represented by the Director, quantity surveying in the ministry, Dickson Onoja, assured that the administration was committed to take concrete measures to boost the sectors.
“A revitalised and building and construction sector is capable of not only increasing our national infrastructure stock, it will also generate huge multiply effects, and in the process, create massive employment and wealth, thereby, boosting economic prosperity of the country.
“Government has accordingly, voted massive funds for construction projects in the road and housing sectors. Funds have been released for the payment of debts owed contractors, which has seen the return of most of them to site, resulting in the re-engagement of workers who had earlier been laid off.
“Anyone who takes his or her time to go round the country at this time will notice that Federal Government construction projects have regained their momentum and the project sites are, once again, alive and thriving,” he said.
Fashola said that the current administration demands the involvement of professionals, especially registered surveyors in projects. He stressed, “with the current downturn in government revenues, there is need to ensure that the little funds available are efficiently utilized.
“The high cost of construction projects is a major challenge, which requires the skills and knowledge of Quantity surveyors, as construction cost experts to address.”
He said the government expects registered Quantity Surveyors to leverage on their professional expertise to promote resource optimisation and value maximisation as it strives to provide modern infrastructure for the nation.
Also speaking, President, Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria, QSRBN, Malam Husaini Dikko, said the surveying professionals will intervene to minimise the cost of construction given the current economy situation in the country.
Dikko, while painting the ugly picture of negative impact of the recession, said, “Given this ugly scenario, it means that Nigeria needs to borrow heavily to balance its annual budgets especially the capital budget.