Home » National Construction and Household Support Program Will Deepen Regional Integration, Address Imbalances, Reduces agitations -Oladele

National Construction and Household Support Program Will Deepen Regional Integration, Address Imbalances, Reduces agitations -Oladele

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An International Human Rights lawyer and newly appointed member of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) , Hon. Kayode Oladele has commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for approving the National Construction and Household Support Program (NCHSP) across all geo-political zones in Nigeria to aggressively tackle uneven infrastructure distribution, poverty and rapidly enhance socio-economic development.

In a statement, Oladele noted that this is the first time in the history of Nigeria that the federal government will be embarking on a very ambitious and all-encompassing policy to address the age-long economic imbalances and uneven distribution of infrastructural projects in the country.

He says, “It’s important to note that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu led government, through this intervention, is embarking on a holistic approach to tackling infrastructural deficits, enhance cohesion, inclusiveness and promote socio-economic development in Nigeria. What has historically received less attention from previous administrations in the country is the roles uneven distribution of infrastructure and structural imbalances have played in promoting regional inequality, ‘geographical apartheid’, poverty, socio-economic imbalance and structural hindrance to economic development. Unfortunately, this is one of the fundamental causes of aggressive ethnicity, which we generally refer to as ethnic or regional agitations, affirmative action, demands for equal opportunities and threats of secession as a counter force to perceived ethnic domination and oppression.”

Oladele further maintains that, “With this policy, the President is capitalizing on opportunities that already exist in our economy to create growth poles across the geo-political zones in the country. Growth poles are simultaneous and coordinated in many sectors to support self-sustaining industrialization and economic growth poles and investment in such areas as roads, manufacturing and construction is very critical particularly in achieving the sustainable development goals. It is a silent economic renaissance and industrial revolution that will eventually enhance our social security and quality of life”.

It will be recalled that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, while speaking at the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting last Thursday in Abuja approved the immediate rollout of well-conceived national construction and household support program to boost agricultural productivity, strengthen the nation’s economy by creating opportunities in the real sectors of agriculture, manufacturing and construction, as well as provide urgent economic relief for Nigerians.

Under the program, the Federal Government has given priority attention to the construction of Sokoto-Badagry Highway, crisscrossing Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Oyo and Ogun States. Other road projects include completion of recently launched Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway and the construction of Trans-Saharan Highway linking Enugu, Abakaliki, Ogoja, Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The President also approved full counterpart financing for Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri Railway, traversing Rivers, Abia, Enugu, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe as well as Borno States. The program also captures Ibadan-Abuja segment of the Lagos-Kano Standard-Gauge Railway which will traverse Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Kwara, Niger, Abuja Kaduna and Kano States. Other items under the program, aside from road construction is the disbursement of One-off allocation of N10 billion to the 36 states of the federation and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory for the procurement of buses and CNG uplift program, delivery of N50,000 uplift grant to 100,000 families in each state and Abuja for 3 months, provision for labour unions and civil society organizations and the deployment of N155 billion for the purchase and sale of assorted foodstuffs for distribution across the country.

Oladele said that he sees “ the new policy as an affirmative action to deliberately dismantle hyper-urbanization, offset past lopsided growth or discrimination, create a pathway for rapid economic development, counteract present unfairness and achieve future equality for all regions that make up the federation of Nigeria”.

Oladele, who has just been nominated by the President as a member of the Federal Character Commission and recently confirmed by the Senate emphasized the fact that, “the Federal Government’s policy on National Construction and Household Support Program is clearly in line with the second Mandate of the Federal Character Commission in that the scope of the FCC’s operations extends beyond governmental bureaucracies to include addressing the inequalities in social services and infrastructural development in the country as well as working out the modalities and schemes for redressing the problems of imbalances, reducing the fear of relative deprivation and marginalization in the Nigerian system of federalism

“ Specifically, Part 1, Section 4 Subsection d(i) of the Functions of the Federal Character Commission has expressly stated that the Commission shall work out an equitable formula, subject to the approval of the President, for the distribution of socio-economic services and infrastructural facilities, d(ii), work out modalities and schemes, subject to the approval of the President, for redressing the problems of imbalances and reducing the fear of relative deprivation and marginalization in the Nigerian system of federalism as it obtains in the public and private sectors”.

“In all, regional affirmative action in an ethnically diverse society like Nigeria is a legitimate concern and this administration, led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu must be commended for its bold commitment to addressing these age-long structural challenges with a comprehensive policy that will ensure even-socio-economic development of every geographical region in the country.

“ I am very optimistic and confident that, if properly implemented, this policy can be a vehicle for wider social change and lasting positive effects on employment generation and economic growth in the country. It is an inevitable and unavoidable necessity.”

Oladele therefore expresses the hope that, “the Federal Character Commission will play important roles in the implementation and supervision of this all-important Program because the constitutional responsibility for ensuring compliance falls squarely on it”.

Concluding, Hon. Oladele is optimistic that “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will also extend priority attention to the reconstruction of abandoned Abeokuta-Imeko federal road linking Nigeria with the Republic of Benin. This road, when completed will not only open up economic activities across the corridor but promote inter-regional trade and trans-border commercial activities between Nigeria and the neighboring Benin Republic”.

“I applaud President Tinubu’s administration for resuscitating and prioritizing the construction of abandoned Badagry-Sokoto road project and I wish to draw the President’s attention to the necessity of reconstructing the dilapidated Imeko-Abeokuta road network which is a federal road linking several food basket rural communities in Imeko-Afon/Yewa North Local Government Areas in Ogun West Senatorial District with Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State.”

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