The Federal Government said its decision to channel about 80 percent of N247 billion so far released for capital projects in the 2016 budget to the construction industry was informed by the strategic role of the sector in job creation and the reflation of the economy.
Speaking yesterday through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige,the federal government said: “As of today, the capital released stand at N247 billion out of which 80 percent has gone to the construction industry.
“The idea is that government wants to reflate the economy and put money in the hands of the people through these construction companies that have millions of Nigerians in their employ.”
The Minister, who spoke while receiving the leadership of Construction and Civil Engineering Senior Staff Association, CCESSA, in Abuja, urged the construction companies to reciprocate government gesture by mobilising to sites and recalling all workers earlier disengaged, to forestall worsening unemployment index and further aggravate the fragile security situation in the country.
According to him, “for the little we have done, we want to see you people in action. Another chunk of money is going to be paid as the economy improves and things get better.
“The budget also has a special provision for settling outstanding debts and for the completion of ongoing projects.
“Through these, government intends to take away our youths from idleness, fruitfully engage them, and avoid making them easy recruits for insurgents.”
On the expatriate quota, Ngige said the situation where expatriates took over positions meant for Nigerians, even as low as menial jobs, was unacceptable.