• Fashola predicts bright future for construction industry

    Fashola predicts bright future for construction industry - nigeria newspapers online
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    The immediate past Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has projected a sustained boom for the nation’s construction sector, citing huge unfinished and emerging infrastructure demands that policy outlooks are primed to unlock.

    Delivering a keynote speech at a Julius Berger Nigeria dinner in Lagos on Thursday, Fashola said, “The outlook of the construction industry in Nigeria over the next five to 10 years and beyond remains highly positive as can be deduced from the government master plan.”

    Referring to a claim dismissing infrastructure’s economic impact made by an unnamed 2023 presidential contender, the ex-minister said, “I am pleased to tell you that the person who made the statement did not win the election. Therefore, as far as policy goes, there is unlikely to be a conscious or deliberate disinvestment policy about the provision of infrastructure.

    “Simply put, every economy that seeks expansion, efficiency and productivity must invest in the commensurate infrastructure in order to achieve it.”

    Fashola cited roads connecting airports, seaports, borders, and educational institutions, among others, prioritised during his tenure as examples of strategic infrastructure targeting wider economic goals beyond mere transport.

    He outlined how construction spurs manufacturing, provides mass employment even for unskilled labour and generates multiplier commerce benefits for haulage companies, dealers in building materials as well as energy and lubricant suppliers.

    He highlighted emerging sectors like sports, entertainment and tourism crying out for major event venues and connectivity upgrades necessary for Nigeria’s service economy transition.

    He stated President Bola Tinubu is similarly convinced of the strong infrastructure-economy nexus, quoting his inaugural address and committing to “continue the efforts of the Buhari administration on infrastructure. Progress towards national networks of roads, rail and ports shall get priority attention.”

    Fashola concluded by affirming compelling reasons for construction firms to expect sustained state patronage as the government strives to match policy plans with funding mechanisms involving concessioning and tax rebates.

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