Federal Government Approves N9bn For the Construction Of 550 Low-Cost Houses
The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N9 billion for the construction of 550 low-cost houses to be situated in Zuba, a popular suburb of the Federal Territory Capital, in the pilot phase housing initiative for low income earners.
According to information obtained from the Federal Housing Authority, the low-cost house project is proposed to be replicated in all state capitals across the federation to serve the housing needs of low-medium income earners.
The Managing Director/Ceo, Federal Housing Authority, FHA, Prof Mohammed Al-Amin, revealed the Federal Government plan, after inspecting the ongoing pilot housing construction work at Zuba in Abuja.
The Managing Director said, “This project started 14 weeks ago. It is a mixture of one, two and three-bedroom houses and flats. A total of 550 houses are to be produced there. In every site is a direct stage of construction and we are expecting to invest N9bn in the project. Already, we have this money in our account.
“Government has given us this money and we are releasing it according to the dictates of the Public Procurement Act. This is not the only place in Abuja that we are building such a project. We have opened Kwali and in the next two weeks, we are going to open another in Lugbe. These are for low-income earners in Abuja.”
While speaking at the site, the MD Pointed out that the project will also benefit workers in the informal sector. He noted that the Ministry of Finance, in partnership with the Office of the Vice President, will manage the funds for this housing scheme.
Prof. Al-Amin also said, “So principally, the Zuba housing project is created to be a pilot project of what is called Buhari Bricks, and this essentially entails having houses for all categories of Nigerians. For low income earners or those in the informal sector, we have what is called the Family Home Fund.
“This fund is being administered by the Office of the Vice President and the Federal Ministry of Finance. In this fund, once you can afford to contribute N30,000 monthly, then you get into the process of owning one of the buildings as far as you meet the stipulated criteria.”
He stated, “The second aspect of it is for those who have jobs higher than those in the N30,000 monthly contribution category, and they need houses and keep migrating into our cities across the country. If you go to Aba, Lagos, Kano, Katsina and many other cities, you will see that on the fringes of these cities are many new neighborhoods that are not well planned and the buildings are not good. The reason is that urban migration is taking place.
“So, the only way to check it is to have the mass housing scheme that targets these migrants and provide them with good accommodation, so as to free these cities. So, if you have good and cheap houses, any migrant that comes into the city will rather go there and stay and start coming into the main city. Instead of him to go and buy a farmland and start building and eventually contributing in defacing the city.”
According to the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Federal Housing Authority, Mr. Lawal Shuaibu, the proposed 550 workers residential houses is a social intervention project of the Federal Government, adding that the housing agency was also involved in the development of commercial housing for the rich class.
The mass housing project in Zuba is one of many social welfare schemes aimed at meeting the housing needs of people who may not be able to afford the commercial rate of residential homes which is quite exorbitant. In other words, the federal government is providing low income earners with affordable housing and an easy payment process.
This initiative is quite commendable given the overwhelming size of housing deficit in Nigeria and the awful high cost of renting residential homes. No other welfare initiative can actually beat providing low income earners with a platform to own their own home.