Former Governor of Lagos state Babatunde Raji Fashola (2007-2015) is now the minister of power, works, and housing as appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari. The ministerial position is a large undertaking for a seemingly insurmountable country-wide issue.
Although, many said that there was much that needed to be resolved in Lagos state as well, but Fashola and his administration; implemented green projects around the city to make it more environmentally friendly and appealing, took aggressive action to stop the spread of ebola, restructured the public school system, and rebuilt deteriorating highways and road access points from the metropolis to the rural areas of the state.
He essentially brought hope for transparent leadership that changed life in Lagos.
Nevertheless, Fashola is taking on a newly created ministerial position, and there is overwhelming pressure to achieve even more than he did as governor.
Analysts believe there is much decay to contend with in the works sector as contracts for many roads were abandoned while some were poorly executed as the roads failed before commissioning.
Though Fashola achieved much in Lagos in terms of infrastructure development, creating a plan to develop mass housing for low income earners is one of the major challenges facing the new minister.
According to the Daily Trust, Chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers FCT Maitama branch, Isreal Abraham said: “One of the major challenges he will have to face is corruption because the cost of project execution is higher in Nigeria than other West African countries, especially Ghana that has similarity. It is only in Nigeria that quantity surveyors are not involved in costing because of corruption and lack of transparency”.
“There is no way you can get quality work done” Abraham added.
Housing and road development aside, the issue of lack of power and consistent flow of said power to the majority of Nigerian homes and businesses is a key issue that citizens are keen to see progress on. Fashola unfolded a 13-point agenda to drive efforts towards enhancing power supply in the country, on Monday, January 11.
We can only hope the bastion of transparency can work through the necessary evils to continue to move Nigeria in the right direction.