The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, says the ministry is owing 3,504 contractors handling its various housing projects about N69.9 billion.
He stated this when he appeared before the Joint National Assembly Committee on Housing on Thursday in Abuja, to defend his ministry’s 2021 budget estimates.
Although N76.4 billion was allocated to the ministry in the 2021 budget, Fashola warned that the figure was grossly inadequate to execute 186 projects across the country.
He listed some of the priority areas in the 2021 budget to include the completion of the construction of the remaining 2,140 housing units under the National Housing Programme in 34 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Other priority areas identified by the minister were the completion of the construction of ongoing federal secretariats in Anambra, Bayelsa, Ekiti, Nasarawa, Osun, and Zamfara States.
According to Fashola, is important to take the maintenance and operation of public buildings seriously.
He also advocated that Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) should provide a sum representing two to 10 per cent of their annual capital budget as maintenance provision.
The minister explained that maintenance and operation have the potential to employ as much as 10 per cent of the country’s working population and contribute up to eight per cent to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as observed in the United Kingdom and in varying ratios in some other countries.