By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
he Federal Government, on Thursday, inaugurated 80 housing units comprising 52 units of 2 bedroom bungalow; 20 units of 3 bedroom bungalow; 4 units of 1 bedroom bungalow and 4 units of 3 bedrooms (using stabilized earth) in Niger State under the National Housing Programme (NHP).
This was made known in statement issued and signed by Deputy Director
(Press & Public Relations) Stephen Kilebi.
President Muhammadu Buhari who commissioned the estate, said the houses were part of the campaign promises that the All Progressive Congress (APC) made in 2015, and a fulfilment of that promise.
The President who was represented by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada, said the government was able to achieve this with the support of the Niger State Government, who provided land to shelter ordinary Nigerians.
“This is a good example of some developmental possibilities that inter-governmental collaboration can produce, and with the provision of more land, the Federal Government certainly can do more,” Buhari said.
He explained that the progressive ideals of his government seek to improve the human condition, pointing out that although government cannot meet every one of those Nigerians in person, but it’s economic policies and investment in infrastructure such as the National Housing Programme and others would and positively impact many of them.
While speaking on the economic importance of the programme, the President said, “The Micro, Small and Medium size businesses who drive our economy were the ones who won the contracts to build these houses.
Not only did their successful bids offer an opportunity for these companies and their employees, through them we have unleashed a value chain of economic activities that improved the conditions of the ordinary Nigerians.”
He said the major contractors engaged suppliers who benefited from sub-contracts for the supply of building materials such as sand, cement, roofing and plumbing materials, doors and electrical fittings, pointing out that the processes created opportunities for the ordinary Nigerians at the bottom of the pyramid such as artisans, builders, skilled and unskilled workers and food vendors to benefit in the economic value chain.”
The President said his administration was committed to moving Nigerians towards prosperity and away from poverty adding that the government was already reaching the peak through the provision of opportunities for employment for those who were hitherto unemployed.
Speaking earlier, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said it was a thing of joy to see many completed projects across the country under President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure.
Fashola, who was represented by the Zonal Director of South West Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Muhammed. K. Muhammed said, “In the 34 states of Nigeria, the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Works and Housing, has delivered similar projects with the support of state governors who provided the land.“
“Today in Niger State, we have completed and we are commissioning 80 units of houses comprising one, two and three bedroom units. There are many things to be said about this project, from its design to economic impact and the social impact on this community,” he added.
Explaining further, the Minister said that the design of the project was the outcome of the national survey conducted by the Ministry of Works and Housing to find out the type of houses Nigerians desired, stating that the survey revealed a prevalent need for bungalows in the North and flats in the southern part of Nigeria.
He also said all the housing units were offered to members of the public through a national housing portal https://nhp.worksandhousing.gov.ng/ to ensure that interested individuals were not inhibited by any artificial obstacle while allocation would be made on the basis of those who applied.
Also speaking, the Director Overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Engr. Chukwunwike Uzo, said that the philosophy behind the National Housing Programme was the provision of affordable pilot scheme, accessible and acceptable as contained in the National Housing Policy.
Engr. Uzo who was represented by the Zonal Director North Central Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Engr. Valentine Nwaimo, said, “The approach to the design and use of materials take cognizance of the cultural and climatic peculiarities of the regions, while responding to the tenets of the Building Energy Efficiency Code (BEEC) championed by the ministry.
He sated also that over 1,200 building contractors have been engaged under phases I, Il and III since inception in 2016, and over 14,500 and 50,140 direct and indirect jobs have been created.
He disclosed that during this period the ministry is undertaking the construction of over 6,000 housing units in 45 sites, out of which 2,465 units have been completed in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
In his remarks, the Governor of Niger State, H.E. Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, who was represented by his deputy, Ahmed Muhammed Ketso, commended Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for demonstrating the will to close the gap of housing deficits in Nigeria.
He added that indeed the 80 units of the National Housing Programme in the state would go a long way to reduce the number of people that needed shelters in the state.