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We delivered housing projects in 34 states, says works minister

By Victor Gbonegun (Lagos) and Cornelius Essen( Abuja)
14 March 2022   |   4:10 am
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said the completion of houses in 34 states with the support of governors who provided lands is a fulfillment of the first phase of the National Housing Programme (NHP).

Representative of President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, (middle), representative of the Governor of Delta State and Commissioner for Housing, Delta State, Festus Ochonogor (second right), representative of the Director, Overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and Director/HOD Public Building and Housing Development, Solomon Labafillo (third left) representative of the Asagba of Asaba, Osowa Owelle of Asaba, Chris Chukwurah (right) and others at the commissioning of completed houses under the National Housing Programme (NHP) Phase I at Issele Azagba, Aniocha North Local Council, Delta State.

• ‘Govt palliative measures on roads are paying off’
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said the completion of houses in 34 states with the support of governors who provided lands is a fulfillment of the first phase of the National Housing Programme (NHP).

Fashola who stated this at the commissioning of Issele Azagba housing units in Aniocha North Council of Delta state, explained that the project is an example of the promise of change made to Nigerians by the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

The minister, who represented President Buhari at the ceremony said: “Our desire and commitment towards improving the human condition and our message of change, have another facet beyond job creation. It responds to those who have long aspired to own a home, and that dream has come true with this project.

He dismissed a report in the media that he was involved in a motor accident during his inspection tour of the ongoing second Niger Bridge in Delta and Anambra states.

“We were in Asaba few days ago with the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari to inspect ongoing works at the second Niger Bridge. It is unfortunate that some sections of the media chose to tell sensational premium lies, we were not involved in any accident.”

Earlier, the Special Adviser on Housing, Mr. Biodun Oki, said: “In 34 States, the Federal Government, through the ministry of works and housing has delivered projects like this with the support of the state governors who provided the land.

“There are many things to be said about this project, from its design to the economic impact and the social impact on this community. In terms of design, this project is the outcome of a national survey conducted by the Ministry of Works and Housing to find out the type of houses Nigerians desired.”

The Director, overseeing the office of the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Chukwunwike Uzo, said: “The Ministry is promoting local content in line with Executive Orders three and five. The use of available local building materials in the National Housing Programme has stimulated the economy through the production and use of the materials.”

The Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, who was represented by the Commissioner of Housing, Chief Festus Ochonogor, noted that the estate is part of the crucial development of the society as housing is a basic necessity for human survival.

Also speaking, the Asagba of Asaba , Joseph Chike Edozien represented by the Osowa Owelle Asaba , Chris Chukwurah thanked the Federal government for siting the project in the area and for giving some of the houses to Super Eagle players to actualise the promise made to them by the Sani Abacha regime.

He added that the National Housing Programme has contributed to the economic prosperity of the people within the area and enjoined the beneficiaries to maintain the houses to spur the government to do more.

MEANWHILE, Fashola has said the Federal Government’s post rainy season palliative measures on dilapidated portions of roads are paying off.

Fashola, who said this in Abuja, during a performance review meeting with stakeholders on the 2021 Ember Months and Post Rainy Season Palliative Works on Nigerian Roads, disclosed that the ministry and the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) routine repairs of roads across the country, facilitates easy movement of travelers, motorists, goods and services.

The minister noted that different seasons bring different challenges, adding that the plan for every season is based on the report available and feedback.

“The ember months are not a period to toy with. It is a period when most things begin to happen naturally and based on that the roads become so busy, which compels the ministry and FERMA to carry out palliative works to reduce accidents and other ugly incidents on the roads,” he said.

Fashola stated that with the palliative measures accidents rate, according to reports by the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) reduced by 9 per cent, which is a positive development.

The minister advised road users to be conscious of the fact that the road is a shared asset and can only last when used properly. He urged the truck drivers to avoid parking on road shoulders because it reduces its life span.

Fashola charged contractors to use proper road signages at all the construction sites and ensure that standards are not compromised.

He also warned that any contractor not complying with the standards must be sanctioned according to the law.

Earlier, the Director, Highways Construction and Rehabilitation in the ministry, Folorunso Esan, spoke on the various highways across the country where the ember months and post rainy season palliative measures were carried out.

On his part, the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, Nuruddeen Rafindadi, disclosed that the Federal Government provided needed funds for the execution of the repair works on the affected roads.