Wike queries N85 billion FCT housing project
Wike expressed his displeasure when he and the Minister of State for FCT, Mariya Mahmoud, with other government officials visited the road construction site for the housing estate.
Earlier, acting Coordinator, Satellite Town Development Department, Mr. Olusegun Olusan, explained that the contract for the provision of the infrastructure was awarded in 2014 at N26 billion but revised to N85 billion in 2018.
Olusan told the minister that so far, a total of N21 billion had been paid to the contractor, leaving a balance of N64 billion, adding that the percentage of work done so far was 21.4 per cent.
On the housing scheme, the coordinator explained that the government’s role was to provide the land and infrastructure, while private developers build houses and sell to the masses at an affordable rate.
He added that at the conception of the project, a two-bedroom flat was to be sold to the masses at N7 million.
But the minister was not impressed with the arrangement made by the FCT, as he condemned the motive for the government to spend N85 billion to provide infrastructure, land, and benefit nothing from it.
“We are not impressed with the arrangement made by the FCT. Government cannot just cough out N85 billion in providing infrastructure and then give land out to private developers, who will build and sell.
“This kind of arrangement is not commendable at all. We think that the government must also participate, having provided the land and infrastructure.
“If we are partnering with private individuals or developers, the common sense is that you provide the land, provide infrastructure and they come and develop. Then government, for example, can take 10 per cent while the developers take 90 per cent, depending on the value,” he said.
Wike said that under such arrangements, the government would be able to determine the price how the houses would be sold to the masses, saying that the masses cannot afford N7 million for a house.
He said that the project would be revisited for proper planning in a way that the government would benefit from the project and ensure that the masses that the houses were being built for could afford it.
On the project delay, the minister said that FCT would not be awarding contracts for awarding sake.
“We will award contact that we know we will finish before embarking on another contract.
“Every contract is abandoned because there is no money. So, we are going to look at everything,” the minister said.
Earlier, the minister visited the ongoing road construction leading to the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Body of Benchers building.
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