The Federal Capital Territory Administration has commenced the provisions of 4,104 affordable houses for members of staff of the administration as part of activities to commemorate Nigeria’s 61st Independence Anniversary.
The FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, performed the groundbreaking ceremony and official site handover of Muhammadu Buhari Staff Affordable Housing Estate in Karshi on Friday, in Abuja.
The minister noted that the project was a bold step by the administration towards addressing the deficit in the housing sector especially among civil servants.
Aliyu assured members of staff that modalities had been put in place to guarantee accessibility and affordability to deserving beneficiaries, including funding and repayment arrangements with primary mortgage institutions.
She explained that layouts had been identified for affordable housing provision in all the six area councils, while development plans had been prepared for the layouts and prototype designs have been produced for various housing types.
“That Nigeria is witnessing a crisis in quality housing provision, is not in doubt. Increasing numbers from amongst the youth population are abandoning rural farmlands in the search for better living conditions in the urban areas.
“Sadly, these multitudes, unable to afford the relatively higher costs of living, are left with no choice other than to find accommodation in shanties and other unwholesome settings.
“It is in recognition of this housing deficit in the nation’s capital, reputed to be the number one urban centre in Nigeria with the most housing-challenged humans (especially among civil servants) that we have completed a review of previous attempts at providing affordable housing for staff of the FCTA and FCDA,” she said.
The minister identified the high cost of land registration and irregularity of land title, policy implementation somersaults, licensing issues, inadequate funding and legislation as some of the major issues that continue to confront the housing sector in Nigeria.
She affirmed that the administration was working assiduously to address some of these challenges so that private sector entities could feel encouraged to invest more in affordable housing provision.
Earlier, the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola, said the present administration since inception pursued the actualisation of the project.
Adesola stressed that the provision of affordable housing was a conscious effort by the FCT Administration in solving the housing needs of its low and medium cadre in the civil service.
He noted that the project would create jobs for the teeming youth of Federal Capital Territory, and opportunities for the artisans, thereby preventing youth restiveness.
Also, the Director Housing, Satellite Towns Development Department, Usman Bala, advocated for deliberate housing policies and concession in the provision of land, primary and secondary infrastructure, ease of titles aimed at solving housing needs in the country.
On his part, the Managing Director, Auto-North Ltd., Malam Baba Muhammad, who spoke on behalf of other contractors, pledged the commitment of the private entities to deliver on target. (NAN)