Mr Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing, has said that accurate data survey, collection and analysis was key to addressing developmental issues in the country. Fashola said this in a statement by Mr Salisu Haiba, Assistant Director Press, in the ministry on Wednesday in Abuja. He made this remark when the Managing Director and Publishers of Daily Times Newspaper, Alhaji Aliu Akoshile, and his team paid him a courtesy visit.
The Minister said that “we need research, knowledge and data analyst to report factual information for developmental issues in the country”. He noted that many developmental issues and planning were not based on the right data. Fashola encouraged the media houses to invest in strong data collection and employ data analysts in order to have a more credible and informed news material. The minister also urged the media to fund investigative journalism and always confirm the authenticity of reports, so that they would properly advise the government on policies and to change the negative mindset of people.
On the need for the media to have a strong and credible database, Fashola listed online polls, university campuses and international sites as parts of the areas where reporters could gather their data. Speaking on the issue of building collapse in the country, Fashola listed error of design, construction mistake or abuse, malpractice, improper soil test and abuse of law and order as major factors.
He enjoined professional bodies in the sector to live up to expectations by sanctioning erring members. In his remarks, Minister of State for Works and Housing, Mr Abubakar Aliyu, blamed the activities of quacks in the building industry on incessant cases of building collapse.
He pointed out that the purpose of any building, residential or commercial must always be stated at the outset before getting approval. He explained that building for schools, disco hall and residential houses were completely different in design and structures, ”and whatever goes wrong should be the responsibility of the structural engineers who must ensure the building stands. ”