Fasehun advises Fashola to embark on people oriented projects
Chairman of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Dr. Frederick Fasehun, has advised the minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, to embark on people oriented projects in the administration of the three portfolios thrusted under his care by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a congratulatory statement circulated to the media in Lagos on Tuesday, Fasehun said, “Fashola and all other ministers in the Federal Executive Council must steer the Buhari regime to make Nigerian Talakawas, Mekunus, Lagbajas and commoners the centrepiece of all government policies,”
The UPN National Chairman while extolling Fashola’s appointment as a Super-Minister, akin to a Prime Minister, said the former Governor must be humbled over his tri-fold responsibility and ensure that the federal government made the welfare of the commoner top priority.
According to the Elder Statesman, who is also the Founder and President of the Yoruba socio-cultural group, the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Fashola must shun projects like those that became controversial during his tenure as Governor, including: installing toll gates on the highways and building high-brow government houses that were priced beyond the reach of the poor.
“Congratulations. We wish you well. And may God give you the strength to succeed with these three solid ministries on your shoulders,” Fasehun said: “As Lagos Governor, Fashola came off with the reputation of an achiever because he embarked on massive reengineering of physical infrastructure in the state, especially in road construction.
But now, Fashola’s glory will be further enhanced if he should embark on mass provision of low-cost housing for the poor and other programmes that will improve the living standards of the average Nigerian.”
He said Nigerians had rejected the idea of installing tolls gates on federal highways because the country had resources needed to build and maintain the existing network of FG roads.
“If any roads must need tolling, it must be purely brand-new constructions embarked upon in public-private partnership initiatives,” he counselled.
Fasehun said the Governor’s appointment into Power, Housing and Works showed the great faith the President had in him and he must not fail.
In his words: “We always had the faith that with his achievements in Lagos, Fashola would someday attain service at a higher level –but we least expected it would be in the form of being overfed with three major ministries. However, all that glitters is not gold. When you over-feed a child, you produce nausea and vomiting. But as nothing is impossible with God, we hope and pray that this heavy load will be featherweight so that he can meet the expectations of Nigerians generally, not Lagosians alone.”
Recalling that electricity supply remained problematic, despite its privatisation, Fasehun urged Fashola to cooperate with the private generating and distribution companies (GENCOs and DISCOs) to provide adequate and affordable power to Nigerians.
However, he charged the minister to resist temptations to increase electricity tariff, saying, such must be avoided at this point in time, until power supply improved.
According to Fasehun, Nigerians wanted good roads, affordable housing and reasonably-priced electricity.
He also urged the Federal Government to tackle the problem of multiple taxations by working on synergy with states to streamline tax operations.