Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has insisted that the Nigerian has finally exited recession.
Osinbajo seemed to be reacting to recent submission by the labour union, under the aegis of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, at its National Executive Council, NEC, that Nigeria was still in recession.
Prof. Osinbajo, while speaking 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 government employed to drag the economy out of the woods was massive spending in the construction sector.
Prof. Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of State for Works, Power and Housing, Suleiman Hassan, noted “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.”