By Christiana Ekpa
The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) yesterday revealed plans for the construction of Abuja Diaspora City to be sited on 750 hectares of land in Kabuzu-Maitama II District as well as 30,000 mass houses in the nation’s capital city.
The FHA acting Managing Director/CEO Umaru Gonto who disclosed this in Abuja during an interactive session with chairman and members of House Committee on Housing and Habitat, explained that plans were underway for road shows in part of Europe, Asia in partnership with Nigerian in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) as part of efforts geared toward attracting foreign investors.
While commending the 8th Assembly for its intervention tin that resulted into appropriation of N5 billion for FHA in 2017 since 2005, Gonto solicited for budgetary allocation from Federal Government in the bid to embark on mass and commercial housing schemes across the country.
He disclosed that FHA has so far constructed 7 estates in Abuja including the estate located in Apo District which is currently before the Supreme Court following the dispute with Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) which initially awarded the land to FHA but was revoked by Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA).
The Acting MD informed the Committee of the 150 hectares of land acquired FHA in Bwari Area Council of Abuja for constructionof houses for key workers such as Doctors, Immigration, Police, NSCDC, among others.
Gonto explained that the 30,000 pilot mass housing scheme being developed by FHA in Abuja will be replicated in the six geopolitical zones of the country, adding that similar estates have been developed in Osogbo, Yenegoa, Kano, Gombe, Cross River and Benue States respectively.
He added that the mass housing estate being developed in Zuba area of Abuja which has attained 75% completion level is to be completed by December 2019, just as he lamented the inability of FHA to have access to land in the city capitals across the country.
According to him, no fewer than 5,000 houses were developed by FHA in Gwarimpa area of Abuja, while efforts are ongoing to construct system houses in the North East geopolitical zone for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in partnership with foreign investors from Germany and Spain.
The Committee Chaired by Hon Mustpha Dawaki tasked FHA management on the need to liaise with Federal Ministry of Works and Housing in order to access from the N100 billion earmarked for mass housing under the Service Wide Vote as proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari during the presentation of the 2020 budget estimates to the joint session of the National Assembly, as well as the need to synergize with Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).
This came just as the House of Representatives Committee on Electoral Matters assured Nigerians to do everything within its powers to improve and strengthen the conduct of elections in the country..
The Chairman of then Committee, Hon Aishatu Jirbril Dukku gave the assurance at the inaugural meeting of the Committee in Abuja on Wednesday.
She explained that this would done in partnership with all relevant electoral and political bodies, civil society organizations both local and international .