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Ministerial screening: Senate grills Fashola

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Over 25 senators, out of the over 50 who wanted to ask questions, were allowed to grill Fashola, who was the immediate past Minister of Works, Power and Housing.

For over an hour, Fashola was busy engaging the senators who asked several questions rather than the usual take a bow and go.

Fashola, during his screening answered questions on power generation in Nigeria, infrastructure, among others.

He said Nigerians were benefitting from off-grid power.

Fashola said “While we were managing the grid, we changed Nigeria’s conversation from off-grid power to on-grid power and for the first time, Nigerians are now talking about and benefitting from off-grid power.”

On power audit carried out across 37 federal universities, the former minister said “We undertook the power audit of 37 federal universities in Nigeria with a plan to intervene and strategically deploy independent power to Nigeria’s federal universities as our contribution to education development.”

On road rehabilitation, Fashola said funding had been the major problem, adding that “There were never enough resources. Everyone wants development in their state. One mode of funding is Sukuk (bond) which was a form of public-private partnership.”

Senator Francis Alimikhena (Edo North) asked Fashola why for the past four years, his ministry did not commission a housing project.

Fashola responded, “If the decision were mine, as I did as Lagos governor, there would be a year or two of no new projects. Our expectation of speed (in executing contracts) is not compatible with what has been enacted in our law. Our law is holding us back.”

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