Efforts by the Federal Government to reduce housing deficit through its National Housing Programme (NHP) are on course. Last week, officials of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (FMPWH), accompanied by some reporters toured some projects in two states.
At one of the sites in Abere, Osun State, the Deputy Director, (Architecture), FMPWH, Mrs Lola Onwubalili, said work had reached 70 per cent completion.
Mrs Onwubalili, who is the project Team Leader in the state, revealed that the housing project consisted 68 units comprising two blocks of two-bedroom and two blocks of three-bedroom semi-detached bungalows, including a condominium. The condominium block which is still under construction has 24 blocks in all, consisting of four units of one-bedroom, 16 two-bedroom and four three-bedroom apartments. The team leader further disclosed that 16 units have been practically completed while infrastructure such as water, power and road are 90 per cent ready.
She explained that the project, which is meant to help address the housing deficit in the country, has immensely benefitted the public, including artisans, bricklayers, contractors, food vendors. For instance, 12 contractors were involved in the project, and they all sourced their building materials locally, including engaging about 360 direct employees aside from other indirect jobs.
A sand supplier met on site, Mrs. Adewuyi Modinat, and a food vendor, Mrs. Titilayo Ayanlola, lauded government for creating jobs through the initiative. They further called for early commencement of the second phase of the project.
“Osun State project is one of the five on-going sites in the south-west and we are proud to say it is the best in terms of progress of work. “The programme has provided jobs not only for contractors and building professionals, but scores of skilled artisans and hundreds of unskilled labourers,” she said.
In Ede, Osun State, the Federal Controller, FMPWH, Mr. Kolawole Kukoyi, described the NHP situated in Ede North Local Government as part of government’s efforts to provide affordable housing for the people. Though, he explained that the modalities for allocation of the units upon completion is yet to be arrived at, he nonetheless gave assurances that the interest of the masses will be at the centre of the final allocation decision.
Meanwhile, in Kwara State, the project’s Team Leader, Kunle Shonibare, said the state NHP has 38 blocks consisting 76 units of flats being executed by 19 contractors. He explained that the project which has reached 60 per percent completion, will be completed before December, 2018.
The Permanent Secretary, Kwara State Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Abdulganiyu Mustapha, an engineer, lauded the Federal Government’s housing scheme initiative, stressing that it should be replicated in other constituencies in the state. He pledged his state’s commitment to provide additional land for second phase of the project, saying that there is need for synergy between both the state and Federal Governments to understand the peculiarity of the state and the need to deliver impactful projects.
Representatives of the Kwara State Association of Suppliers attested to the benefit that has come their on the project. They noted that 34 of their members have so far benefitted from the scheme as they were given the opportunity to supply all the building materials needed for the project.
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