Poised to address the dearth of skilled labour, the Federal Government has pledged to resuscitate the moribund Onikan artisans’ training school in Lagos.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Housing, Alhaji Babangida Hussaini, made the disclosure during inspection of facilities in Lagos.
He said the move is in line with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of retraining the youth to support professionals on the sites.
Hussaini, who was accompanied by the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Kayode Popoola, also decried the state of national assets in Lagos and pledged government’s commitment towards their rehabilitation.
According to him, the decay has accumulated over the past 40 years, but with the commitment of the present administration, they would be addressed.
He commended the pace of work on the Third mainland bridge, stressing that the ministry will continue to monitor and improve the integrity of the bridge.
On funding critical projects in the state, the permanent secretary said, government has created avenues and opportunities such as the SUKUK fund, the presidential intervention funding and, the tax credit scheme to fix decayed infrastructure.
“The ministry’s headquarters is in Lagos, and most of our facilities are still here. We need to maintain them, you recall that one of the policies of the Federal Government is to set up the asset management agency for these facilities. It is always important to look at the assets and maintain them.
“A lot needs to be done, its quite unfortunate that it cost a lot to maintain the edifices and financial factors have impeded the ability of the ministry to keep them in good shape, but we are doing our best,” he said.
MEANWHILE, the Federal Government has disclosed that about 40 buildings will give way for the proposed Lotto Bus Stop Interchange Bridge along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Hussaini said most of the houses affected were within the proposed interchange bridge, which is under construction, near the Redemption Camp on the expressway. He assured that compensation would be paid after the committee completes its work.
According to the Permanent Secretary, issues of compensation and relocation of existing utilities were challenges slowing down the Lagos-Ibadan road project.
Although, he described the progress of work on the road as “ impressive “ Hussaini added: “These are what is slowing down the project, and that is why I’m here. We have to move fast to match the progress of work.
“We hope to complete the project as scheduled,” he said. The permanent secretary said the tour was in continuation of a nationwide tour that took him to Kaduna, and other states last week. The Lagos–Ibadan Expressway is a 127.6-kilometre-long expressway connecting Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State and Lagos.