FG releases N5.2b for 10,000 houses in Borno
The Federal Government has released N5.2 billion to complete 10,000 houses for 1.7 million Internally Displaced Person (IDP) returnees in Borno State.
The returnees are currently taking refuge in IDP camps in Maiduguri, Dikwa, Monguno, Dalori, and three border communities in Cameroon.
Governor Babagana Zulum disclosed this while inspecting the ongoing construction of 1,000 houses in Dalori community. Boko Haram severally attacked Dalori between 2015 and 2019 with loss of lives and property.
He said the release of funds, was a sequel to the state government’s request last year for the construction of housing estates for resettling 1.7 million IDPs to their ancestral homes.
Prof. Zulum revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the construction of 10,000 affordable houses and directed the release of funds to undertake the construction process.
He noted that the project is an intervention from the Federal Government. “The federal government has released N3.5 billion to commence the first phase of construction exercise in the state,” he said.
He continued: “We’ve judiciously utilised the funds to complete the housing projects, sited in various liberated communities.”
He said that out of 1,000 housing units, 608 have reached completion stages. He added that another 1,000 houses have reached 70 per cent completion in Kaleri metropolitan community.
Zulum said the Ministries of Humanitarian Affairs, Finance, and the North East Development Commission (NEDC) have also assisted in the implementation of housing projects.
He added that the Federal Government has also released N1.3 billion to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture for the establishment of Rural Grazing Areas (RUGA) in the state.
According to him, the government also released N352 million to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to support the means of livelihoods of IDP returnees.
He said funds have been released for the sinking of two boreholes to meet the housing estate’s water requirements.
In a related development, Benue State Government plans to build over 5,000 affordable housing units in the state capital, Makurdi.
The state commissioner for Housing and Urban Development, Chief Ekpe Ugbul, who dropped the hint in Makurdi, said the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) would soon be signed with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).
He said the proposed sites located in Adeke area of Makurdi, will reduce the housing deficit in the state.
“The issue of housing deficit is not peculiar to Benue state but nationwide. If we build 5,000 units, that will surely reduce the burden. I believe that this will add to the efforts being made by Benue Investment and Property Company (BIPC),” Ugbul said.
He said despite the challenges being faced by his ministry, they were able to complete many projects while some are still in various stages of completion.
“We carried out the remodeling of Apera Aku Lodge, in Government House, the Government House Office Complex.
“Others nearing completion are the multi-purpose hall at NYSC camp Wannune, and supervised the remodeling of the Tor Tiv Palace in Gboko as well as build a power station at the industrial layout in Makurdi.