The Federal Government on Thursday announced that it had commenced the construction of mass housing projects in 33 states across the country.
It also called for an upward review of up to 50 per cent as mobilisation funds for contractors, especially emerging contractors operating in the built environment, in order to enable them to deliver their projects satisfactorily.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who disclosed this at the sixth meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development, told delegates at the event that with ongoing housing projects, the government had fulfilled the commitment it made at the 2016 council meeting by 90 per cent.
Commenting on the progress report on the National Housing Programme, which was discussed at last year’s meeting, Fashola said, “At the time of the council meeting in August 2016, I reported that we were finalising designs to accommodate our cultural, climatic and other diversities.
“I had explained that when the designs were completed, we would commence construction to pilot the designs and test them for affordability and acceptability. I am pleased to report that construction has started in 33 states where land has been made available.”
He added, “This is in fulfilment of another commitment made at last year’s council by at least 90 per cent.”
Fashola also stated that stakeholders had resolved to facilitate the use of exchange of letters for the transfer of title to land when states were transferring land to the Federal Government.
He said, “I am happy to report that there has been very inspiring compliance based on the several letters of exchange that I have received and which I have duly signed.
“All I need say about this in terms of compliance is that if there are still states yet to comply, they should please do so very quickly.”
The minister said he had personally visited project sites in Taraba, Gombe, Ekiti, Oyo states, adding that “what I saw demonstrates to me very clearly how impactful the National Housing Programme has been, even at the pilot and inception stage.”
On the size of Nigeria’s housing deficit, Fashola said every nation was faced with similar situation, and noted that the size of the population determines the growth rate, the urbanisation rate, and the size of the deficit.
He stated that aside from artisans involved in the mass housing construction project, 653 contractors were engaged in the pilot scheme to deliver 2,736 units.
“A total of 54,680 people were employed in the process,” he added.