From John Adams, Minna
Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has given the assurance that he is committed to addressing the housing deficit in the state before the end of his administration.
The governor spoke in Suleja where he laid the foundation for the construction of a 279-unit housing scheme in the town as part of government efforts to provide affordable housing to citizens in the state.
The governor explained that the housing scheme is in partnership with Bamhill Properties, initiated to solve the housing deficit in the state.
According to him, ‘this housing scheme is very important to us as a government. It is a build-up to the partnership between the private sector and government in our plan to provide affordable housing for our indigenes and people around here in Suleja. This project has been on the drawing board for some time now, but I am glad that it has been actualised.’
Governor Bello pointed out that the administration is looking at the Suleja Master Plan with a view to upgrading and transforming it into a modern urban city with smart homes, considering its proximity to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.
‘We are determined to solve accommodation deficit problems in our urban cities, especially a place like Suleja where you have lots of people working in Abuja coming to stay. There is therefore the need to look at the master plan of Suleja urban area and provide better smart houses,’ the governor said.
He maintained that ‘thhe infrastructure of Suleja has been overwhelmed because of the number of people living in it. We have a consultant engaged to look at the agreement prior to setting up of Abuja as FCT. I believe that some of the promises made then by the federal government have been fulfilled but again there are more that have not been fulfilled. So, we are following up on these.’
While urging the developers to made the cost of the houses affordable to indigenes with offer of first right refusal, Governor Bello assured that government would provide all necessary basic facilities in the estate including access roads, portable water and electricity.
In his remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer(MD/CEO), Federal Housing Authority Mortgage Bank, Mr Hayatudeen Awwal said that N25 billion has been made available for the scheme which he said has already been oversubscribed.
Awwal said that the project will create 2,000 jobs in the next two years, adding that all raw materials for the project will be sourced locally.
Speaking earlier, the Managing Director (MD), Bamhill Properties, Akinkugbe Akeredolu-Ale, said that the objective of the scheme is to provide housing for the low and medium-income earners in the state, adding that the 279 housing units consist of 227 two-bedroom terrace and 52 units of 3-bedroom block of flats to be delivered in two phases.