FG engages 653 contractors for mass housing scheme
In renewed effort to shore up national housing stocks, the Federal Government has engaged 653 contractors and employed 54,680 people to deliver 2,736 units of houses across the country.
The projects planned in 33 states are part of the National Housing programme’s pilot scheme, which is at various stages of completion. Among those employed for the housing projects are artisans.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, who spoke in Abuja at the sixth meeting of the National Council on Land, Housing and Urban Development organized by the ministry in Abuja, urged the remaining states to key into the programme by providing lands to the federal government.
The meeting was with commissioners from the 36 states of the federation in charge of works, housing and urban developments. According to him, the construction was made possible because of the availability of land in those state was to fulfill commitments made in last year’s council meeting held in Ilorin, Kwara State.
Fashola further lamented that some legal provisions in the country are too tight to the extent of not giving room for desired development targets and canvassed for the review of the provisions of the Public Procurement Act.
Fashola stated that the Public Procurement Act restricts paying more than 15 percent mobilisation to contractors and sets conditions that overlook the level of literacy of the vast majority of the people and the nature of small businesses that they run.
“My experience in the last 20 months is that small businesses have difficulty complying with our procurement process and this requires not only policy reviews as I have ordered, but also legislative intervention by parliament”, he said.
He stressed that this is one of the actions the nation must take to fulfill the objectives of the theme of the Council so that the country can build for inclusion, for growth and for prosperity.
The Minister further called for leveraging on the successes of co-operatives in housing programme, private sector capacity, strengthening of the Federal Housing Authority and Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria to play their roles so as to create housing economy away from housing deficit.
The Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Muhammad Musa Bello also assured that policies had been put in place to enable residents within to have decent living accommodation.
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