Words of commendation continued to pour in as President Muhammadu Buhari commissions affordable National Housing Programme across the country.
Federal Government under Federal Ministry of Works and Housing has successfully constructed housing schemes under the National Housing Programme in 34 States including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
From Jigawa to Edo State, the story has been the same as Nigerians thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the provision and commissioning of the pilot scheme of affordable, accessible and acceptable houses as contained in the National Housing Policy.
So far, Federal Government has commissioned the National Housing Programme in Kaduna, Kogi, Delta, Imo, Osun, Nasarawa, Niger, Jigawa and today the President is commissioning the programme in Edo State. More of such commissioning are lined up to be commissioned by Mr. President.
The Odionwere of Idunmwen-ehigie community where the housing project is located while thanking Mr. President, said that the project has really beautified the community which was hitherto an unused forest.
He thanked Mr. President and called for more collaboration in future project of such magnitude.
Speaking in the same vein, a labourer who was engaged during the construction, Francis Downtown said that with the little money he made, he was able to feed his family and do other things.
He said, “ I thank President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN for this project. This project has really benefited me. “
One of the beneficiaries of the housing programme, the late wife of Nigeria Super Eagles player, Mrs. Thompson Oliha who was handed Certificate of Occupancy to their property thanked Mr. President for redeeming the promise made to her husband and other Super Eagles players that won the 1994 African Cup of Nations. She said, “On behalf of my late husband I thank Mr. President for redeeming the promise that was made 28 years ago. It goes to demonstrate that this government is determined in putting smile in people faces in terms of providing shelter for Nigerians.”
Commissioning the 68 Units of Housing comprising, 28-Units of one, two bedroom, 16-units of three bedroom and 24 units in condominium in Edo State, Mr. President said, “This housing estate being commissioned today is an example of the fulfillment of the promise of change we made.”
Continuing, Mr. President who was represented by the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said that the housing estates that were constructed in the 34 states of the federation was a clear manifestation of the progressive ideals of the present administration to improve the human condition of Nigerians.
“The micro, small and medium size businesses that drive the economy have unleashed a value chain of economic activities that improved the conditions of the ordinary Nigerians,” he said.
Accordingly, he said these business activities added value to human condition saying, “In the process, Nigerians at the bottom of the pyramid such as artisans, builders, skilled and unskilled workers and food vendors were not left out of this economic value chain. “
He also pointed out that the desire and commitment of his administration towards improving the human condition is gaining more impetus as jobs are being created for the teeming populace via the housing estates adding that people who have aspired for a long time to own a home are now seeing their dreams come true with these housing projects.
On his part, the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN said that as the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari draws to an end, there is great leap in completion of projects all over the federation.
The Minister who was represented by the Director of Public Building and Housing Development Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Arch. Solomon Labafilo said, “As we head towards the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenue of office, I am happy to also say that we enter a season of completion when many projects such as this begin to bear fruit.”
Fashola further stated that the houses commissioned are opened to the general public in non-discriminating way by opening of the National Housing Portal to ensure transparency in the bidding processes in acquiring the houses.
He added that, “We welcome those who can afford to pay outright, it is not a condition of eligibility and have offered flexible payment options like mortgage and rent to own which we encourage applicants to pursue.”
Delivering his remarks, the Governor of Edo State, His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki thanked Mr. President and the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN for the laudable housing project.
While he called for more collaboration with the State Government and private sector participation in the housing industry,said the National Housing Programme of the Federal Government complements what they are doing in Edo State.
Governor Obaseki added that the efforts of both the State and Federal Government would bridge the housing deficit and provide jobs for the youths in the construction industry.
He said : “It is pertinent to stress that building partnership and working closely with other arms of governments and the private sector and communities is critical in our development strategy. “
Speaking further, he said the state is willing and ready to collaborate with Federal Government to achieve the desired goal of providing shelter for Nigerians saying, “With this project we have been able to identify the major challenge facing the nation in general and Edo State in particular.”
The Governor identified mortgage institution as a major player in bridging housing deficit in the country saying, “Except we build a virile, realistic and affordable mortgage arrangement, we will not be able to develop housing at the rate we wish it to be. “