By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Federal Government said it will commence the allocation of the first phase of the National Housing Project (NHP) in 2020.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola disclosed this at the sidelines of a 2-day inspection’ tour of five highway projects in Niger state recently.
Fashola said this was part of the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to provide infrastructure and through it move the economy forward.
He said it had a different design from that of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and the Federal Housing Authority (FHA)
“The same project is going on in 34 states of the federation, with 28 contractors who in turn employ people who have a means of livelihood.
“This is how the ecosystem of the economy evolves, drivers are employed to bring blocks, artsans are engage and food vendors, which is better than stealing or begging.
“We hope to step it up so that unemployment can be reduced with this kind of construction work,” he said.
He said the houses which are meant for low income and medium income families would be allocated this year
Fashola said the houses were going to be allocated to people on mortgage basis so that they could pay slowly with deductions from their salaries.
Speaking on the bidding process for the allocation, Fashola said it would be electronically done so everyone could have fair chance.
He said as much as possible the ministry wants to eliminate the human angle and interface.
He added that National Identity card or National Passport or both could be used.
On the challenges faced by the contractors concerning encroachment by surrounding communities he minister appealed to the people to roll back and allow the work go on.
“In the interest of the nation, the beneficiaries, the contractors and even the people that engaged in the course of the construction.”
Earlier Mr Micheal Ibegwu, Controller of Housing Niger State Federal Ministry of Works and Housing had conducted the minister and his team around the facility to assess the extend of the work..
Ibegwu explainied the issues confronting the work part of which were funding and encroachment.
He however commended the contractors and the state government for their commitment to the project adding that the government made available the land on which the second phase had stated.
NAN reports that the NHP was started I in 2017 with a pillot of 2736 units and 653 contractors iengaged in the construction.