Works Minister Advocates Protecting National Assets As National Development Panacea

Minister of Power, Works & Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola

ABUJA – (Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing) – The Minister of State II for Power, Works and Housing, Sulieman Hassan Zarma(Surveyor) has called for community participation in the ownership of public assets and critical infrastructures in the country, stressing that people in the communities need to be sensitized to take personal responsibility for the protection of public infrastructures.

He revealed this recently in a press statement, indicating that at a time like this, the federal government still considers as a matter of priority spending the nation’s meagre resources to provide its citizens with necessary and critical infrastructures. Hassan described as sad the notion that there are lots of damages and inadequate maintenance of these public assets which are yet to meet the needs of the citizenry.

Declaring the workshop open, the Minister informed that it was a One-Day Stakeholders Conference on Preservation, Protection and Community Ownership of Public Assets and Critical Infrastructure organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Abuja.

He commended NOA for choice of the topic for discussion, adding that the forum was earmarked to help inform, educate and enlighten the people on the efforts the government is making towards providing adequate infrastructures and the need to encourage stakeholders to cherish and preserve them for posterity.

The Minister also stated that the Ministry will continue to make concerted efforts in ensuring that the tripartite sectors meet up with the mandate of delivering critical infrastructures to Nigerians in the areas of improved power generation, adequate funding and resuscitation of abandoned and new road projects as well as the provision of mass housing across the country.

Earlier in his remarks, the Director – General of the National Orientation Agency, Garba Abari stated that infrastructure development, preservation and protection are critical elements in measuring the level of development of a nation. According to Abari, a confirmation of the fact would mean no nation can be said to truly develop, unless it continues to invest in the provision of new infrastructures and protection and preservation of existing ones.

The NOA boss called for collaboration and synergy between stakeholders in Nigeria’s infrastructure and the National Orientation Agency, for the protection and public ownership of national infrastructures in the country to be attained. Participants at the event comprised notable discussants who presented relevant papers on the topic.