The Federal Government, on Thursday, re-assured that the current administration was committed to taking concrete measures to boost all the sectors of the economy as efforts got intensified to pull the country out of the current recession.
This came as quantity surveyors in the country, under the auspices of Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria (QSRBN), said given the ugly economic scenario, it meant that the country needed to borrow to balance its annual budgets, especially, the capital expenditure.
Speaking at the 2016 annual conference of registered quantity surveyors in Abuja, the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, noted that the current administration, was committed to voting massive funds for construction projects in the road and housing sectors to take the country out of the recession.
The minister, who was represented by the director, Quantity Surveyors in the ministry, Dickson Onoja, said the Federal Government believed that massive government investment and expenditure in infrastructure, was one sure way of taking the country out of recession.
“This administration, more than any other in recent times, has taken concrete measures to bridge the infrastructure deficit in Nigeria in the belief that the development of a nation’s infrastructure impacts positively on its economy,” he said.
According to Fashola, a revitalised building and construction sector, was capable of not only increasing our national infrastructure stock but will also generate huge multiplier effects and in the process, and boost economic prosperity of the country.
“Government has, accordingly, voted massive funds for construction projects in the road and housing sectors. Funds have been released for the payment of debts owed contractors, which has seen the return of most of them to site, resulting in the re-engagement of workers, who had earlier been laid off.
“The current administration demands the involvement of professionals, especially, registered surveyors”, stressing, “With the current downturn in government revenues, there is the need to ensure that the little funds available are efficiently utilised.
“The high cost of construction projects is a major challenge which requires the skills and knowledge of quantity surveyors, as construction cost experts, to address,” he said.
Also speaking, on the occasion,the president of QSRBN, Malam Husaini Dikko, said the surveying professionals will intervene to minimise the cost of construction given the current economy situation in the country.
According to him, the situation opened conversation on the role and the need for professionals such as quantity surveyors to intervene with their expertise such as in the management of the drastically-reduced resources available to government, accrued benefits would always outstrip cost to ensure a regime of regenerative investment in the infrastructure needed for economic development.
“Challenging times like these, calls for the expertise of a nation’s professionals who constitute its intellectual backbone to come up with solutions to the myriads of problems
“Since we live in a dynamic and fast-paced world, a country’s professionals must be on top of their games at all times. That is, they must constantly remain on the cutting-edge of their respective professions
“The biggest challenge facing the profession in Nigeria is that the expertise of the quantity surveyor in cost management is not utilized across the entire spectrum of infrastructure development thus creating a loophole which encourages leakages, corruption and financial recklessness and impunity which the country can ill-afford at this time.”