Economy successfully exits recession, Osinbajo insists

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VICE President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Thursday, insisted that the country has successfully exited recession, contrary to claim from some quarters that the country was still in recession.

Prof. Osinbajo, who said this at the 27th Biennial Conference of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, NIQS, in Abuja, said, the economic is on the path of sustainable growth after getting it out of the woods.

He said, one of the most effective strategies that the government employed to drag the economy out of the woods happens to be its massive spending in the construction sector.

According to him, a few months into the life of this administration, it was vindicated by the plunge in global oil prices which culminated in a economic recession. We have, however, surmounted this setback and succeeded in getting the economy out of recession and onto the path of sustainable growth through increased focus on other relevant but hitherto ignored sectors such as agriculture and solid minerals, manufacturing, transport, and by means of new fiscal and trade policies.

Prof. Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of State for Works, Power and Housing, Suleiman Hassan, added, “This administration understands very well the critical role the construction industry plays in a nation’s industrial and economic development.

“Apart from providing houses for the citizens and roads to facilitate societal integration and movement of goods, the construction sector creates capital formation and wealth in the country. by so doing, it generates high multiplier effect and employment on a very large scale.

“Government, through the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing, according launched the ongoing National Housing programme covering all the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory in 2016.

“Through this ministry, we also put in place a well-articulated programme for the restoration of the nation’s road network through improved funding, with hundreds of billions of Naira already spent constructing new roads and rehabilitating hitherto dilapidated and abandoned ones.

“As a result of our increased spending in these areas, the massive debts owed to contractors are being settled, workers that were laid off are being recalled and the construction sites that were closed are being opened.

“We have it on record that payments made to 103 construction companies executing 192 projects during the implementation of the 2016 budget, resulted in the employment of 17,749 people directly and 52,000 people indirectly in works.

“And so far this year, nearly N50 billion has been paid to 62 contractors working on 148 projects to continue work on roads and bridges and keep people at work. Similarly, payments are being made to supervising consultants in the housing and power sectors of the ministry respectively.”

Prof. Osinjabo said, the government intends to continue collaborating actively with key stakeholders like the professionals, contractors and manufacturers to bring about the much desired transformation in the industry.

I believe that our quantity surveyors, for example, do have a big role to play in finding solutions to the problem of high cost of construction projects in Nigeria.

In her opening remarks, the President of Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, NIQS, Mrs. Mercy Iyortyer, said the present administration meant well for development of the construction industry. Iyortyer, recalled that, “When the current administration came into power, they immediately increased the budgetary allocation from 11% to 30%, adding, “And this was a clear demonstration of the sincerity of government to strengthen the economy and create jobs.

She, however, regretted that “Unfortunately, budgetary delays and the economic recession that set in not long after that, affected implementation of capital projects. Iyortyer called on the Federal Government to develop the country’s construction industry by sustained patronage of local contractors and consultants, and as well encourage the production and use of local construction materials to ensure fast development of the sector.    –   Vanguard

 

– Nov 16, 2017 @ 18:35 GMT |

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