The Federal Government has said that the infrastructure policy of the present administration is hitting the right buttons across the country.
Minister of works and housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, stated this during an inspection tour of the Federal Secretariat, Awka; National Housing Programme at Isiagwu, the Second Niger Bridge in Anambra and Delta States and the National Housing Programme in Asaba, Delta State as well as Amansea Section of the Rehabilitation of Onitsha-Enugu Expressway, Anambra.
In a press statement signed and made available by the ministry's deputy director (Press), Mr Stephen Kilebi, to Pioneer Property, the minister noted that President Muhammadu Buhari has continued to emphasize commitment to infrastructure as the quickest way to employing people.
Fashola said: "Policies have very diverse and extensive impact on the people, so when Mr President says he wants to lift 100 millon people out of poverty, he knows what he is saying and he knows some of the right buttons like infrastructure, to press.
While going round the sites, the minister interacted with workers who were full of appreciation to the administration of President Buhari for the opportunity to work and earn a living rather than going into crime.
Mr Sunday Etikwu, a mason at one of the National Housing Programme sites who was visibly excited, said he received a daily pay of N4,500 and works all through the week.
A food vendor, Mrs Ebele Chukwu, also expressed happiness for the opportunity to cook and sell alongside her husband who works as a labourer at the site and goes home with at least N5,000 daily.
Fashola said the end product may be constructing a road or building a housing estate, but human capacity is enhanced through drains being laid, electric fittings being installed, foundations being dug, blocks being moulded and foods being supplied, thereby providing employment and boosting the economy as well as the living standard of the community and its environs.
"It is the initial value chain of the economy which is the first impact you feel when it comes to infrastructure, he said.
At the National Housing Programme site at Isiagwu, the minister observed significant improvements, especially when accessing the site as compared to what obtained when he first came to the site.
He further said it was a far-sighted vision by the state government to open up the community, but was still expectant on their commitment to open up more roads as it would take some time for the Isiagwu community to come alive.
During the inspection of the Federal Secretariat project in Awka, the supervisor, Mr Nnamdi Umeji, who conducted the minister round the site, said the project has reached 90 per cent completion level. The contractor handling the project observed that the project has no provision for a lift as it was not budgeted for.
The minister asked him to submit the design and cost implication for the provision of a lift booth which the contractor promised to submit within three weeks.
Fashola also inspected the National Housing Programme in Asaba located along Benin-Asaba Expressway which had twelve contractors on site. The project supervisor, Arc. Godwin Otobo, said the first phase of the semi-detached houses has reached almost 100 per cent completion level.
Other projects inspected were the construction of Umunya Road in Awka, Anambra State where the minister expressed dissatisfaction over the slow pace of work and charged the contractor to expedite action on the project and the construction of the Second Niger Bridge which had reached over 30 per cent completion level.