On Tuesday, during his visit to the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) Zuba in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), President Buhari handed over keys to some new homeowners. He also delivered a speech at the inauguration of the estate which spans over 18.5 hectares of land and comprises 748 housing units of different types across 75 blocks.
During his speech at the estate's inauguration, President Buhari congratulated the new homeowners and emphasized the importance of living together in peace and harmony. He also urged the residents to collaborate with the FHA to ensure the property is well-maintained and the environment is safe.
The President commended the FHA Chairman, Managing Director, Board Members, and staff on the successful completion of the estate, noting that it is another demonstration of his administration's commitment to lifting people out of poverty. He explained that housing supply is a critical factor in alleviating multi-dimensional poverty in the country and the completion of this estate provides a solution for the beneficiaries.
President Buhari added that the new homeowners have taken a significant step towards prosperity and away from poverty.
President Buhari expressed his satisfaction with the mass housing project but acknowledged that more Nigerians are still waiting to benefit from it. He urged the management of FHA to continue delivering other projects at various stages of construction and development across the states.
He also highlighted that the provision of infrastructure is a crucial measure in combating poverty, creating prosperity, and boosting the economy, leading to the creation of job opportunities for artisans and other skilled members of society.
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, attributed the success of the project to the teamwork and leadership of the President, who approved appointments into the leadership of FHA Board and Management. Fashola noted that instead of abandoned projects, the completion of 748 housing units would provide shelter for Nigerians and their families.
During the event, Fashola presented keys to five beneficiaries, Tina Orkpe, Salisu Iliyasu, Ado Maude, Rabina Abdulkadir, and Flight Sgt. Musa Mohammed, who subscribed through FHA Rent-to-Own delivery model. He informed the President that the project engaged 75 contractors and provided direct and indirect employment opportunities for over 13,000 Nigerians.
Senator Shuaibu Lawal, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of FHA, expressed his gratitude to President Buhari for providing the N7.5 billion grant that kickstarted the project in May 2018. He noted that without the grant, the project would not have been possible, and the President deserves credit for its success.
Lawal praised the Minister of Works and Housing, as well as the FCT Minister, for their passionate commitment to the project. He also stated that the estate is perfect for Nigerians who cannot afford houses in prestigious areas such as Maitama and Asokoro in the FCT.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of FHA, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, described the commissioning of the project as a testament to the President's visionary and deliberate housing policy. He commended the President for approving the grant to FHA in keeping with his promise of providing shelter to Nigerians.
According to Senator Gbenga Ashafa, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of FHA, the Authority completed the project at a total cost of N9.5 billion, with N7.5 billion in subvention from the Federal Government. The remaining N2 billion was sourced from the Authority's other projects to complete the estate.
Ashafa also revealed that the Authority has commenced the development of Bwari Estate, which is located near the Nigeria Law School in Abuja. The first phase of the project is expected to deliver 336 units of various houses.
Furthermore, the Authority is working on the proposed Diaspora City initiative, which is aimed at providing housing solutions for Nigerians living abroad. The project is set to be piloted in Abuja, with plans to extend the programme to all regions of the country.
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