Fashola: FG’s renewal, construction of major highways has reached schools


The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, on Monday in Owerri, the Imo State Capital, handed over three rehabilitated internal roads in the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) to the authorities of the institution, expressing delight that the nation’s infrastructure gap was being gradually bridged.
In his remarks at the handover ceremony, Fashola, who was represented by the Federal Controller of Works, Imo State, Engr. Anthony Animaku, expressed joy that the roads were now completed and ready for formal handover to the Institution adding that the purpose was to enhance the quality of education.
Buttressing the importance of infrastructure development in educational institutions the Minister declared, “The gap of our infrastructure needs is steadily being bridged by a gradual process of repair, renewal and construction on major highways and it has reached schools”, adding that the quality of education would be impacted by the quality of infrastructure and the learning environments. 
Underscoring the positive impact of the projects, the Minister said anyone in doubt should simply “listen to some of the feedbacks from students where this type of infrastructure has taken place”, adding, “The interventions in the various tertiary institutions will have a critical contribution to support education in the country.
“Currently, there are a number of internal road interventions across tertiary institutions in Nigeria, and the students are saying that their reluctance to attend classes because of the bad roads, has been replaced by an enthusiasm to do so, now that the roads are better”, he said.
Pointing out that the project is an investment in education although a civil Works project, Fashola declared, “During the construction, people were employed in the process contributing to the job creation initiatives of the government, and it is hoped that the school will now ensure that this asset is used properly and not abused”.
The Minister, who promised that Government would continue to intervene in education, explained further, “The intervention by Federal Government would improve the ambience and environment of Federal Tertiary Institutions to enhance academic activities”.
The roads, which are among the 18 completed out of Federal Government’s 43 road intervention projects in tertiary institutions across the country, include the Health Centre, Hostel and Smat Roads. Awarded in 2018 and completed the same year, work done on the roads includes construction and asphalting of Health Centre and Hostel Roads and rehabilitation of Smat Road.
Responding, the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Francis Chukwuemeka Eze, commended the Federal Government for choosing Federal University of Technology, Owerri as one of the beneficiaries of its laudable intervention.
Represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics), Professor Ndukwe James Okeudo, the Vice Chancellor, who stated that the roads are of great importance to the institution as it would aid access and movement around the school, added, “The Senate, Council and the entire Management are very grateful that FUTO was singled out as a beneficiary. We thank Mr. President and the Minister for this honour done to us”. He promised that the school would maintain the projects.
Also speaking on behalf of all the students of the institution, Mr. Donald Anarado recalled that hitherto the roads were not passable especially during the Rainy Season. In his words, “When rain falls, we cannot move easily from our hostels to classes,  but now that the roads have been fixed we can move easily to our classes. We are very grateful to Federal Government”.


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