OVER THE years, there have been these speculated figures as regards the number of housing deficits in the country, which, apparently, Federal Government has been attempting to alleviate. This is why moves have been made on fulfilment of part its election pledges, as federal Government lately restated its commitment on delivering the needed infrastructure to Nigerians, particularly in adressing the 17million housing deficit. The Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, who made the statement also noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is unequivocally committed to the National Housing Programme, NHP. According to statement from Mrs. Eno Olotu, Deputy Director, Information, it hinted the Minister was in Minna, Niger State, on the first leg of his inspection tour of NHP sites in the North- Central geo-political zone. During his tour, the Minister paid a courtesy call on the Governor of the State, who was represented by the Acting Governor, Alhaji Ahmad Muhammed Ketso. According to the statement, “The visit was part of Federal Government’s campaign promise to provide critical infrastructure that would enhance the socio- economic development of the
country”. Shehuri also informed the governor that “the Ministry was constructing about 80 housing units in the state, which is the first phase of the Programme,” while promising that the state would benefit more as government continues to drive the Programme. He thanked the Acting Governor for the magnanimity of the state in providing a 5 – acre plot of land for the NHP, adding that the location of the site is amongst the best in the country. In his response, the Acting Governor said the state will continue to collaborate with the Federal Government in bringing development geared towards improving the living standards of the people. He, however, observed that local contractors in the state were not being considered in the National Housing Programme He later appealed to the Minister to consider them in subsequent phases of the Programme, which is in accordance with the “local content” component of the laudable initiative. He also advised that the Ministry should maintain quality supervision of all its projects in its quest to deliver enduring and quality services to the people. Mean while, the Federal Controller of Housing, Niger State, Mr. Felix Appia, commended the collaborative efforts between the State and the Federal Government in executing
the project. He disclosed that the Ministry is also undertaking other projects such as solar – powered boreholes and construction of classroom blocks, renovation of the Federal Secretariat Complex under the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs projects. It would be noted that the 80 – Unit Housing Estate comprise 4 units of one-bedroom, 52 units of two-bedroom and 24 units of three-bedroom, which are at various stages of completion. Still on the ongoing inspection, minster also visited Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Elder Peter Kisira, and inspected the 72-unit on-going NHP project. He also visited the construction site of a 76-unit Housing Estate in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, where he assured the contractors of prompt payment for satisfied jobs. On other attempts made to ease up the provision of affordable housing to Nigerians, the Minister recently announced government’s move in repositioning mortgaging proceeses in Nigeria. He commended President Buhari’s administration and its decision to recapitalise the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN with additional 500 billion naira to make mortgage facilities accessible to all Nigerians, adding that government’s gesture would
further reduce the housing deficit in the country. The Minister stated this during a courtesy visit to the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State in continuation of his inspection of on-going works on the National Housing Programme, NHP in the North-Central geo-political zone. The Governor, Alhaji Tanko Almakura who was represented by the Deputy Governor of the state, Mr. Silas Ali Agara, received the Minister as the later thanked the state government for the collaborative effort through providing land for the NHP project in the state. Shehuri said that the federal government through the ministry was constructing 76 housing units in the state under the NHP as a fulfillment of Mr. President’s Campaign promise to provide affordable housing delivery to the people. In his response, the Deputy Governor appreciated the federal government for initiating the programme, adding that this will have a multiplier effect on the economy of the nation by creating employment; enhancing expertise on professionals in the built industry and creating local content market. He assured the Minister that the state will continue to partner with the ministry to ensure the successful completion of the project. The Minister later proceeded to inspect the 76-unit Housing Estate comprising 4 units of one-bedroom, 48 units of two-bedroom and 24 units of three-bedroom apartments. He expressed satisfaction with the location and the level of works done so far. Also, the Minister inspected the construction work which is at various levels of completion at the 80-unit NHP project site in Makurdi, Benue State, where he met with contractors, artisans, food vendors, masons and labourers. Mean while, the Federal Controller of Housing, Engr. Patrick Nziwu gave the breakdown as 4 units of one- bedroom, 48 units of two- bedroom and 24 units of three- bedroom apartments. In Jos, Plateau State capital, Hon. Shehuri also paid a courtesy call on the Executive Governor, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Prof. Sonny Gwanle Tyoden. The Minister condoled with the government and the people of Plateau State over the recent death of two of their illustrious sons, the Commissioner of Housing and Urban Development, Arc. Song Galadima and the husband of the former Deputy Governor of the state, Mrs. Paullen Tallen. While stating his mission in the state, the Minister expressed appreciation to the government for providing land for the construction of the housing programme, nothing that inspite of the present economic situation of the country the administration is resolute in fulfilling its campaign promises to Nigerians including that of housing. The Minister appealed to the state government to expedite action on its promise to construct a feeder road to link the NHP project site to the major road. In his response, Prof. Tyoden expressed gratitude to the federal government through the ministry for “deeming it fit to make Plateau State one of the beneficiaries of the National Housing Programme”. He commended the government on its planned recapitalization of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN to the tune of N500 billion, nothing that this would encourage home ownership and affordability. He assured the Minister that action would be taken on the construction of the feeder road to link the NHP project site location.

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