• Saturday, March 02, 2024
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Mass housing: We’ve fulfilled our promise – Buhari

As Buhari prepare to depart, Nigeria is in need of serious reforms

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said his administration has fulfilled its promise of delivering affordable housing to Nigerians.

Buhari spoke at the presentation of keys to some new homeowners at the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) Estate, Zuba, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The housing estate covers a total of 18.5 hectares of land, consisting of 748 units of various house types in 75 blocks.

“I convey my hearty congratulations to the new homeowners in this estate. Our promise of change has been fulfilled for you,’’

The president charged residents of the estate to work together with the FHA to maintain the property and ensure the safety of the environment.

Buhari, who commended the management, board and staff of the FHA on the successful completion of the estate, said the project was a testament of his administration’s commitment to lift people out of poverty.

“Housing supply is one of the indices of multi-dimensional poverty that challenges our people and the completion of this estate provides a solution for the beneficiaries.

“The new homeowners who benefit from this estate have taken a step up on the ladder of prosperity and away from poverty,’’ he said.

The president, who acknowledged that more Nigerians were waiting to benefit from the mass housing project, urged the management of FHA not to relent in delivering other projects at various stages of development across the states.

‘‘One of the measures that we have consciously deployed to attack poverty, create prosperity and develop our economy is the aggressive provision of infrastructure nationwide,’’ he said, noting that such investments also lead to employment opportunities for artisans and other skilled members of the society.

Read also: Buhari hails Adenuga’s dedication to nation-building

Babatunde Fashola, minister of works and housing, said the completion of the project was a product of team work and the leadership by the president, who approved the appointments of the leadership of the FHA board and management.

“Instead of abandoned projects, we now have 748 completed housing units for Nigerians and their families to shelter,’’ he said, adding that 75 contractors were engaged in the course of the project, while over 13,000 Nigerians were employed directly and indirectly.

Fashola told the president that the five beneficiaries, who received keys to their flats, including Tina Orkpe, Salisu Iliyasu, Ado Maude, Rabina Abdulkadir and Musa Mohammed, subscribed through the FHA Rent-to-Own delivery model.

“Although many of the beneficiaries of this project will never meet the president personally, your policies and programmes have met them personally at the point of their needs,’’ he said.

On his part, Shuaibu Lawal, chairman, board of directors, FHA, thanked the president for providing the grant of N7.5billion for the project commencement in May 2018.

‘‘Without that grant, which served as the seed money, this project would not have been possible,’’ he said.

Lawal, who noted that the estate was ideal for Nigerians who could not afford houses in areas such as Maitama and Asokoro in the FCT, lauded the minister of works and housing, the FCT minister, Mohammed Bello, for their commitment to the project.

Gbenga Ashafa, managing director/CEO, FHA, described the completion of the project as a manifestation of the visionary housing policy of the president, who in keeping with the promise of providing shelter to Nigerians, approved the grant to FHA.

He said the authority delivered the project at a cost of N9.5billion with the subvention of N7.5billion from the Federal Government.

He said the balance of N2billion of the construction cost came from the authority’s other projects which was ploughed into completing the estate.

Ashafa disclosed that the FHA has also commenced the development of Bwari Estate, Abuja near the Nigeria Law School, which will deliver 336 units of various houses under the first phase of the project.