By FUNMILAYO ADEYEMI
ABUJA- The newly appointed Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Umar El-Yakub, has promised to key into the mandate of the present administration for sustainability and consolidation of all programmes of government.
El-Yakub was speaking on the sideline of the formal handing over from the former Minister of State for Works and Housing, Mr Mu’azu Sambo and the incoming Minister of State in Abuja on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that El-Yakub who had served as the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, House of Representatives, was appointed the new minister of state in the ministry.
The former minister, Sambo is now the substantive Minister of Transportation to fill the position Rotimi Amaechi left after his resignation.
El-Yakub, who pledged to contribute his quota for the success of the ministry and the nation at large, promised to tow the line of his predecessor as well as key into the leadership and guidance of the Minister, Babatunde Fashola.
According to him, “there is a mandate that has been handed over to us as ministers by President Muhammadu Buhari and it is our duty to key into the mandate for the good of the country.
” Of course, we share in his vision and mission for the country to ensure there is befitting infrastructure for the people as a legacy from him to the Nigerian people.
” This is why we have unprecedented road networks within the country and those that have not been completed before are being completed and others initiated by this administration have been completed.”
” God willing, some will be completed before the end of this administration and of course there is massive development in the housing sector,” he said.
He also pledged to ensure the implementation of the programmes and policies of the administration to provide livelihood to Nigerians in the area of adequate infrastructure.
” Infrastructure is important to the livelihood of Nigerians as it brings people out of poverty, opens space for businesses and transportation network is spread over because of its multiplier effect.
” So, I believe the pace has been set and it is for me to tow along the line by following the leadership of the minister of works and housing, Babatunde Fashola,” he added.
He, therefore, called for support and guidance of the permanent secretary and the entire directors to deliver the mandate for the good and generality of the people and the nation.
In his handover speech, Sambo expressed gratitude to Buhari for the opportunity given him to serve in the capacity of a minister of state and now as a minister of transportation.
While speaking on the challenges of housing deficiency, Sambo said there had not been any previous administration that tackled the problems of housing and roads like the present administration.
Recounting the achievements of the present administration, he said there had been an introduction of robust housing programmes that had initiated about 6,000 units under the National Housing Programme.
” There will always be deficit in housing all over the world. We have not stopped having babies and Nigeria’s population is growing at the rate of two and a half per cent per annum.
” The housing sector is a sector that is critical. The constitution of Nigeria as amended provides for fundamental rights of every citizen to own a decent shelter.
” The Federal Government has since this administration introduced a robust programme across the 36 states and the FCT.
” As we speak, we have commissioned houses in at least not less than 25 states and we have done them in three phases in some states but the only state we have done such is Lagos state because we haven’t been able to get land yet,” he said.
Sambo, however, prayed for the incoming minister of state for the wisdom to carry out the task ahead of him effectively.
In the same vein, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Bashir Alkali, pledged to work with the new minister of state to actualise the mandate reposed on him to achieve success in his new assignment. (NAN)