Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola, Thursday, said the implementation of the national infrastructure maintenance framework would provide more jobs for Nigerians and boost the economy.
Fashola, who addressed a press conference in his office in Abuja on the implementation of the national infrastructure maintenance framework, said nine public buildings have been selected as pilot scheme for the project.
He said a pilot survey conducted has shown that the sum of N922.8m will be required to maintain the selected nine buildings, while about 422 Nigerians would be employed in the process annually.
The minister said that the pilot survey also showed that the nine buildings would cost N40.3 billion to reconstruct.
The minister said: “Let me start with the National Maintenance Framework on Public Buildings and first point out that for now, this only applies to public buildings but will ultimately extend to other public assets like roads, bridges, rail, power installations and other infrastructure of a public nature.
“The decision was provoked by a memorandum from the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing that challenged the conventional thinking that “Nigeria does not have a maintenance culture”.
“The memorandum argued and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) agreed that maintenance of infrastructure whether public or private, is not a cultural issue but an economic one.
“Therefore, the federal government’s decision on maintenance is an economic one, to empower Nigerians at the base of the economic pyramid who are artisans, those at the middle of the pyramid who own small businesses, SMEs, who are involved in manufacturing of building and allied materials.
“Our pilot programme covered nine (9) buildings comprising a federal government college, a federal hospital, a federal court building, a federal prison, a federal secretariat and our office buildings at our headquarters here in Mabushi (Abuja).
“The pilot survey showed that these nine (9) buildings will cost N40.3 billion to reconstruct, while it will cost N922.8m per annum to maintain them which is about 2.3 % of the cost of replacement.
“Just these nine(9) buildings will require about 448 people to keep them well maintained a year. For example, the school will require at least 30 people to be employed per school for maintenance; and the federal government owns 104 Unity schools which potentially will require 30 X 104 = 3,120.
“This is another opportunity for jobs to re-design, to re-model, to retrofit all our assets nationwide to comply with the law as signed by Mr President’.