BRF, A Shining Star @60. – ABUBAKAR YUSUF.
Sir Babatunde Raji Fashola BRF is a household name in Nigeria polity, having served for two consecutive terms as Lagos state Governor and eight years as federal cabinet Minister in the immediate past President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
For eight years between 2007-2015, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola consolidated the achievements of the first civilian Governor of Lagos state, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who assumed duty in 1999.
He was also part of the success story for the new Lagos state under his stewardship spread to Akinwumi Ambode and the current administration of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu in the state.
He revolutionized all sectors of Lagos state and laid a solid foundation for the emancipation and all round development been witnessed in the current dispensation.
Barrister Babatunde Raji Fashola after an impressive performance for two terms in Lagos state was recommended by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for a ministerial appointment in 2015, and held about three portfolios in the Ministry of Works, Housing , Power initially before it was reduced to two.
Even at that, he performed creditably well in the first one year in office before the decisions of the Federal Executive Council FEC to create Ministry of Power, from the existing new Ministry been handled by former Lagos governor .
While in the Ministry of Works and Housing for consecutive eight years he brought alot of initiatives and modernity into the system in the core areas of Housing and Roads construction among many others.
With the wealth of experience garnered both from the public and private sector, Fashola attracted both donor agencies, private sector and rejig the public system into the construction of more affordable Housing for average Nigerians with quantum investment in the Roads sector.
He reconstructed and constructed over 8,938 roads across the country and built over 9,238 Housing units with the active involvement of Federal Housing Authority FHA and Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria.
Aside government investments into this critical areas, Fashola also attracted tax credit from NNPCL and FIRS running into trillions into the reconstruction of over 44 roads, and other foreign investment like SUKUK, bonds, among many other investments into the road sector including the building of second Niger bridge, repair of existing Bridges across the country.
He made Housing affordable to average Nigerians with the construction of ‘rent to own’ houses across the country using the Federal Housing Authority FHA as spring board to achieving the laudable programs.
He also rejigged the National Housing Fund NHF with a view to meeting the yearnings and aspirations of ordinary Nigerians, who were anxious to own a house, using Federal Mortgage Bank and dually Federal Housing Authority FHA.
Fashola opened up the construction and reconstruction of several federal highways that had outlived it’s usefulness particularly the Abuja-Kaduna, Kano, Damaturu , Maiduguri highway constructed over four decades away.
Lagos – Ibadan expressway, Eastern part of the country witnessed alot rehabilitation during the eight years stint of Babatunde Raji Fashola as Minster of Works and Housing.
Having achieved greatly and uniquely in the public service sixteen years in a row both as Lagos state Governor and cabinet Minister, and indicator that he had contributed his own quota to Nigeria’s development from his younger age of 44 years and still counting, was a sign of determination to continue to render selfless services to his fatherland.
As you mark the post golden age of 60 years on Wednesday June 28, 2023 no doubt your contributions had gone down in the annals of Nigeria’s history now and in the nearest future.
Congratulations and Happy Birthday BRF, wishing you many more years in the services of your fatherland.
Yusuf, Writes from Abuja and can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.