By Stanley Onyekwere
Efforts at tackling the lingering problem of accommodation in Abuja received a huge boost yesterday, as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Bala Mohammed unveiled 49 apartments at Abuja Investment Company Limited (AICL) Housing Estate, Apo-Dutse, in the Territory.
Also, the minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the FCT Administration, Obinna Chukwu, performed the ground breaking for construction of an ultramodern mall at Guzape District and commissioning of AICL Executive Office Suites in Garki.
Peoples Daily reports that the housing project which is an initiative of AICL, an agency under the FCT Administration, comprises 8 units of 3 bedroom terraces, 20 units of 4 bedroom terraces and 21 units of 4 bedrooms semi-detached.
While commissioning the estate, the minister , who revealed that the Estate was constructed at the total cost of N3 billion within a period of two years, said the FCT Administration through the AICL embarked on the project, as part of its effort towards reducing housing deficit in FCT.
According to the minister, from available statistic, FCT accounts for 10 percent of the total housing deficit of 17 million in the country, hence the need to bridge the gap.
He adds: “This is of course due to the peculiar demographic resulting from the mass influx into the capital city. And to bridge this gap, the administration has embarked on a number of policies such as the Land Swap initiatives, affordable housing and mass housing schemes.
“I have no doubt in me that this housing project demonstrates the commitment of the FCTA in meeting the challenges of housing confronting FCT residents.”
He disclosed that from 2010 till date, a total of 136 developers and cooperative societies have benefited from mass housing lands in the FCT, the result of which is that many residents now own houses in mass housing estates.
He noted that under the mass housing scheme, the administration has also commenced the pilot scheme in Karshi, which is expected to contribute at least 1000 housing units into the FCT housing stock.
Mohammed further disclosed that this year alone, the FCTA has awarded contracts for the provision of infrastructure in 10 new districts , namely, Jahi, Kagini, Maitama Extension, Wuye, Mbora, Guzape 1 and 2, Wasa and Katampe.
Meanwhile, performing the ground breaking of the Guzape shopping mall, the minister urged the contractor to make sure the project is delivered on time.
Assuring of the FCT Administration’s resolve to boost the capability of AICL, the minister said the agency is presently collaborating with the private sector in the area of city mass transportation services, Abuja Millennium Tower project and other projects.
Earlier, in an address, the project contractor, Arch. Yunusa Yakubu said all necessary building specification were adhered to bring to birth the standard estate.
He explained that the housing estate is self-contained, with ample parking, lighted common areas and pedestrian walkways, wide, privately maintained paved roads, 24 hour security services, CCTV surveillance, two standby 750kv power generators, dedicated transformer, constant water among other feature.
In his remark, the Managing Director of AICL, Musa Musa, said the project is prove of the company’s identification with the vision of the minister to ensure that Abuja becomes one of the best cities in the world by 20:20.