The Hon. Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Hon Mustapha Baba Shehuri has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is unequivocally committed to addressing the housing needs of Nigerians through the National Housing Programme (NHP). He said the Programme was part of Federal Government’s campaign promise to provide critical infrastructure that would enhance the socio- economic development of the country.
The Minister, who was in Minna, Niger State, on the first leg of his inspection tour of NHP sites in the North- Central geo-political zone, stated this during a courtesy call on the Governor of the State, who was represented by the Acting Governor, Alhaji Ahmad Muhammed Ketso. He informed him that the Ministry was constructing about 80 housing units in the state in 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, His Excellency said the state will continue to collaborate with the Federal Government in bringing development to the people geared towards improving their living standards. He, however, observed that local contractors in the state were not being considered in the Programme and appealed to the Minister to consider them in subsequent phases of the Programme 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.
The Federal Controller of Housing, Niger State, Mr Felix Appia, while commending the collaborative efforts between the State and the Federal Government in the execution of Federal Government projects, disclosed that the Ministry apart from the housing Programme, is also undertaking other projects such as solar – powered boreholes and construction of classroom blocks, under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) projects and the renovation of the Federal Secretariat Complex.
The Minister later proceeded to inspect the construction site situated within the Three Arms Zone, where he met with contractors, artisans, suppliers of building materials, food and allied items vendors. They expressed appreciation to the Federal Government for the laudable initiative, stating that the Programme has opened up new vistas of opportunity for them to revive their means of livelihood.
Hon. Shehuri expressed satisfaction at the pace and quality of on-going works at the construction site, while urging the contractors to sustain the tempo and be consistent in the use of the best quality materials for the buildings. The 80 – unit Housing Estate comprises of 4 units of one-bedroom, 52 units of two-bedroom and 24 units of three-bedroom, which are at various stages of completion.
In Ilorin, Kwara State, the Minister, while on a courtesy call on the Executive Governor, His Excellency, Abdulfatah Ahmed, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Elder Peter Kisira (JP) reemphasize the need for collaboration between the state and the Federal Government in the provision of affordable housing to Nigerians. He equally appreciated the effort of the state government in the provision of choice land for the NHP.
While at the 72-unit on-going construction site, Hon. Shehuri, in an interactive session with Ministry’s officials, contractors, artisans, labourers, suppliers of building materials, food vendors and others, stated that the essence of NHP, apart from the provision of affordable housing, is to add value to the wellbeing of Nigerians by creating employment as well as encourage standardization of building materials which will boost local content.
The Federal Controller of Housing, Kwara state, Arc. Felix Ale, while briefing the Minister on progress of work, disclosed that the Estate comprise of 4 units of one-bedroom flats, 44 units of two-bedroom and 24 units of three-bedroom apartments, promising that with sustained funding of the project, speed and quality are assured.
Also, at the construction site of a 76-unit Housing Estate in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, the Federal Controller of Housing, Arc. Veronica Enesi gave the break down as 4 units of one-bedroom, 48 units of two-bedroom and 24 units of three-bedroom apartments. The Minister assured the contractors of prompt payment for satisfied jobs, while admonishing officials supervising the project to adhere strictly to specifications and timelines of the contract.
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