The Senate Committee on Lands, Housing and Urban Development has paid an oversight visit to the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing headquarters in Abuja to appraise the level of implementation of the 2016 budgetary provision to the ministry.
This is however the first time the committee is visiting the ministry to carry out its constitutional responsibilities of oversight of the ministry operations.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, who was represented by the Minister of State II, Suleiman Hassan Zarma, received the Senate Committee.
Suleiman expressed pleasure of the ministry to have the Chairman, Senator Banabas Gemade and other members of the committee on the oversight visit and solicited for their cooperation to guide and correct appropriately where necessary, so that the Nigerian electorates will enjoy the dividend of democracy under the present administration.
He enjoined the Upper and Lower Chambers of the National Assembly to work in synergy on the implementation of Special intervention of Constituency Projects in their various localities.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Senator Barnabas Gemade noted that the principle of separation of powers in a constitutional democracy requires that lawmakers carry out this oversight function regularly on the executive arm of the government.
The chairman added that this vital function of the Parliament with the cooperation of the Executive arm of government will no doubt boost development and good governance in the country.
He said, “Our nation is in dire need of improved level of housing delivery to our people as the need remains enormous. We are keenly looking at how you are implementing new policies in enhancing this.’’
Gemade also said that the committee had paid similar visits to Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and Federal Housing Authority (FHA) as agencies under the supervision of the ministry and solicited for a need for higher support to boost their operations in order to achieve their mandates.
In his presentation, the Director, Finance and Accounts, Ibrahim Tumsal informed the Senate Committee that only 43.7 per cent of budget implementation was recorded in 2016 based on funds released to the Housing sector of the Ministry.