By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Minister of State I for Power, Works and Housirang, Mustapha Shehuri, has decried to contractors handling various projects of the low level of engaging Nigerians’ Engineers.
The Minister stated this while on official tour to the road, housing and power projects in the North-East geo-political Zone comprises Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa,Yobe and Borno States recently.
He said “Government has decry the low level of Nigerian engineers employed by contractors working on Federal Projects in the North East of the country for not employing enough indigenous engineers so as to reduce the already high rate of unemployment amongst the youth in Nigeria”.
The Minister who expressed disappointment of this development ,when he visited Government’s projects in Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa and Maiduguri States.
He reiterated President Buhari’s mandate and the pressing need for the country to reduce the high rate of unemployment at all cost.
“I am disappointed that you employed few Nigerian engineers. These are qualified graduates and Government has embarked on these projects to meet the needs of Nigerians as well as reduce the high rate of unemployment amongst the youth”.
He said the tour embarked was in order to supervise as well as make sure that government’s mandate concerning the development of critical infrastructure is achieved.
The Minister, who was accompanied by a Team, consisting of the Zonal Director, North East Zone, Mohammed Rufai, Zonal Director, Housing, Waziri Micah Mshelia, top Officials of the Ministry and the Press Crew, explained that the focus of the present administration is for the contractors to be local content oriented by employing qualified engineers and the artisan that will be involved in various activities on site, this, he said will boost the socio-economy of the host communities.
The following were the roads projects inspected in the North East;
Bauchi States – the construction of roads on Burga-Dull-Mbati-II-Tandum- Gobbiya-Badagari-Gwarangar-Sum, Ningi-Yadagungume-Fuskar Mata, Phase III, Tudun Wuss-Wundi-Baraza-Durr-Zumbul- Polchi-Dot-Kwanar.
Consequently, in Gombe State – the rehabilitation of Bridges and roads along Bauchi and Gombe road, Emergency re-instatement of a failed section between kilometer 33 + 800 and kilometer 37 + 700 on the Gombe- Bauchi road.
Adamawa State – Completion of Gombe-Numan-Yola road, Phase II, the Rehabilitation of Yola-Hong-Mubi Road, the Rehabilitation of Numan-Jalingo Road Rehabilitation of Gombe-Biu Road. Borno State – the Rehabilitation of Damaturu- Biu Road
According to the Minister, the Government, determined to address housing deficit in the country, developed a National Housing Programme by constructing affordable houses that will also take care of socio-cultural setting of Nigerians. The houses, which are at different stages of completion, include One Bedroom, Two Bedroom, Three Bedrooms and Semi Detached Bungalow. The construction sites inspected are; the National Housing Programme (NHP) site along Ningi Airport Road, Bauchi, NHP, Sangere Village, along Yola-Numan Road, NHP, Auno, Borno State.
Power Projects inspected includes the 49 megawatts Hydro Power Project in Dakin Kowa, Yamaltu- Deba Local Government Area, the installation of 2 x 60 MVA transformers, 132 KVA Substation at Billiri, Maiduguri TCN at Molai
Various constraints and challenges experienced by the Roads, Housing and Power Contractors, particularly contractors working in Borno axis, include security issues, non availability of materials as well as payment. The Minister promised to look into all issues raised, he, however urged the contractors to be swift and deliver in good time in order to finish the work on projected time.
Earlier, the Minister paid courtesy visit on His Excellency, Governor of Bauchi State, Mohammed Abubakar and his counterpart in Adamawa States, Jubrila Bindow. Governor Abubakar hailed the School Feeding Programme of the Federal Government, saying that it has conquered hunger in the rural environment. His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Adamawa State, Martin Babale appreciated the Government’s projects in the region, he urged Nigerians to support the good work of the Government.
Various indigenous and non indigenous vendors took their turns to appreciate the effort of the Federal Government in improving their lives. Many reported upgrade in socio and financial status and commended President Buhari for a work well done.