Lagos – Mr Kunle Awobodu, President, Building Collapse Prevention Group (BCPG), on Friday urged the Federal Government to settle over N600 billion being owed major construction companies in the country.
Awobodu made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on areas the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola should focus on.
NAN reports that Fashola and Mr Mustapha Shehuri were on Nov. 11 appointed the Minister of Power, Works and Housing and Minister of State for Power respectively.
According to him, major construction companies have since lost hope in working for government because of the huge debts owed them.
“The minister has a huge challenge in terms of huge decaying infrastructure and debts owed contractors.
“Most of the government buildings are in sorry state.
“The Lagos-Ibadan-Ore Expressway, Port Harcourt-Enugu-Ontisha Expreeway and Oshogbo-Bida Expressways are in need of serious rehabilitation.
“All these combined with huge debts owed major construction companies are a huge challenge for the minister which should be tackled headlong,’’ he said.
Awobodu said that offsetting some of the debts owed contractors would help them to put themselves together for the job of resuscitating the decayed infrastructure.
He said that most of the major construction companies had sacked majority of their staff and needed to organise themselves for the work ahead.
Awobodu said that the minister should also address the many problems facing housing development to make housing affordable for the people.
According to him, the shortage of housing units in the country is huge and requires proactive measures to tackle. (NAN)