By Sarah NEGEDU
The Federal Capital Territory Administration said it is currently working towards addressing issues of high cost of land registration and irregularity of land titles, among sundry issues hampering the provision of affordable housing for its employees and other civil servants working in the FCT.
FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, who gave the assurance at the ground breaking ceremony of Muhammadu Buhari Staff Affordable Housing Estate in Karshi, added that issues of policy implementation somersaults, licensing, inadequate funding, legislation are also some of the major issues that continue to confront the housing sector in Nigeria.
She affirmed that the administration was working assiduously to address some of these challenges so that private sector entities could feel encouraged to invest more in affordable housing provision.
“That Nigeria is witnessing a crisis in quality housing provision, is not in doubt. Increasing numbers from amongst the youth population are abandoning rural farmlands in the search for better living conditions in the urban areas,” she said.
According to her, “Sadly, these multitudes, unable to afford the relatively higher costs of living, are left with no choice other than to find accommodation in shanties and other unwholesome settings.
“It is in recognition of this housing deficit in the nation’s capital, reputed to be the number one urban centre in Nigeria with the most housing-challenged humans (especially among civil servants) that we have completed a review of previous attempts at providing affordable housing for staff of the FCTA/FCDA.”
The minister had over the weekend, performed the official site handover for 4,104 affordable houses for staff of the administration as part of activities to commemorate Nigeria’s 61st Independence Anniversary.
She said the project was a bold step by the administration towards addressing the deficit in the housing sector especially among civil servants.
Aliyu, used the occasion to assure staff that modalities have been put in place to guarantee accessibility and affordability to deserving beneficiaries, including funding and repayment arrangements with primary mortgage institutions.
She also stressed that layouts have been identified for affordable housing provision in all the six area councils, while development plans have been prepared for the layouts and prototype designs have been produced for various housing types.
In his remarks, FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, revealed that the present administration had inception pursued the actualization of this project, just as he stressed that the provision of affordable housing was a conscious effort by the FCT Administration in solving the housing needs of its low and medium cadre in the civil service.
Speaking on the project concept, the Director Housing, Satellite Towns Development Department, Arc. Usman Bala, called for deliberate housing policies and concession in the provision of land, primary and secondary infrastructure, ease of titles aimed at solving housing needs in the country.
The Managing Director, Auto-North Limited, Mallam Baba Muhammad, who spoke on behalf of other contractors pledged the commitment of the private entities to deliver on target.