The Federal Government has assured Nigerians of its guaranteed political will to implement National Housing Programme (NHP) which was one of the critical campaign promises.
The assurance is coming barely two years since the inception of President Buhari’s administration and during inspection tour of two mass housing sites located in Kwakwa, Katsina and Dutse, Jigawa states, North-West geopolitical zone of the country.
The Minister of state for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, gave the commitment of the federal government towards mass housing while speaking at the housing sites.
He explained that the programme would have direct impact on the people as many professionals, contractors, artisans and vendors were being engaged in the value chain.
At the Kastina State NHP site located at Kwakwa, near the state capital, the Minister expressed satisfaction at the speed and level of work at the site, noting that the contractors were quite on schedule to meet the completion date of the project.
He said the Federal government was committed to reducing the housing deficit in the country and implored Nigerians to continue to support government’s effort in delivering democratic dividends especially in the housing sector.
In a statement by the ministry’s Assistant Director of Information, Eno Olotu, the Minister assured the contractors that government was committed to addressing whatever complaints they have at the moment especially on the issue of delayed payments and the supply of products.
Baba Shehuri further appealed to the contractors and other workers to see the issues as the “teething problems” associated with initial projects of this magnitude and promised that such will be resolved as the Programme progresses.
One of the contractors, APLS Global Link Ltd, Mr Martins Nnodu, who spoke on behalf of others, applauded government on the implementation of the Housing Programme.
He said that it was a welcome development in addressing the poverty rate in the country as it has created jobs and employment for Nigerians. He, however, appealed to the Minister to compel relevant authorities to facilitate prompt payment of contractors as well as resolve issues bothering on specifications of the building materials, explaining that it is slowing down the pace of work.
Zonal Co-ordinator of the Programme for the North -West in the Ministry, Mohammed Dadi, while briefing the Minister said Kastina was a pace setter in the Programme as the contractors have shown great commitment to meeting up with the timelines for completion of the houses.
The site has a total of 76 units comprising of 4 units of 1 Bedroom, 48 units of 2 Bedrooms and 24 units of Bedrooms. Also,19 contractors are handling the projects. Over 1,454 labourers were engaged at the site and 112 food vendors with 80 suppliers of various building materials to the site.
Briefing the Minister, the NHP Team leader and Federal Controller, Jigawa State, Felix Ohiambe said, 19 contractors were engaged with over 400 labourers working at the site including food vendors and petty traders; Professionals and artisans which include: plumbers, carpenters, electricians, among others.
He said the Programme is a “job creating project” and thanked the administration for implementing the NHP which has boosted the economy of the state and increased the quantum of money in circulation.
A total of 76 housing units is also being constructed comprising: 4 units, 1 Bedroom, 48 units, 2 Bedroom and 24 units, 3 Bedrooms in Jigawa too.