President Muhammadu Buhari says the National Housing Project (NHP) in which 6,000 housing units are being constructed in 45 sites across the country is an example of the fulfilment of his change agenda.
The president stated this on Friday in Ilorin at the inauguration of Phase One of the NHP in Kwara.
The phase consists of 76 housing units, roads, infrastructure, water provision and electricity connection.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the housing units located on Asa Road consist of 48 units of two-bedroom bungalow, 20 units of a three-bedroom bungalow and four units each of one-bedroom and three-bedroom.
In a remark before inaugurating the project, the president, who was represented by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, recalled that NHP was conceived as part of his development agenda of addressing housing need in the country.
“When our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), sought your mandate to form the government in 2015, one of the things we promised was changed.
“This housing project is an example of the fulfilment of that promise of change.
“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 said
The president added: “With the support of the Kwara State Government which provided the land, this place which was once unused land amounting to no more than idle capital, has come alive and will now provide shelter for ordinary Nigerians.
“This is also a good example of some of the developmental possibilities that inter-governmental collaboration can produce and I am optimistic that with the provision of more land, the Federal Government certainly can do more.”
The president said that the construction of the housing project had helped in many ways in improving the human condition.
According to him, Micro, Small and Medium size businesses which drive the economy won the contracts to build the houses.
“Not only did their successful bids offer an opportunity for these companies and their employees, but through them we have unleashed a value chain of economic activities that improved the conditions of the ordinary Nigerians.
“They engaged suppliers who benefit from sub-contracts for the supply of building materials from sand to cement, roofing and plumbing materials to doors and electrical fitting.
“In the process, the ordinary Nigerians at the bottom of the pyramid such as artisans, builders, skilled and unskilled workers and food vendors were not left out of this economic value chain,” he said.
The president said the housing project also provided the opportunity to remember the victorious Super Eagles whom the country made a promise of providing houses for after winning the 1994 African Cup of Nations.
Buhari said he had approved allocation of houses to the 22 members of the Super Eagles in the National Housing Estate located in their state of choice.
The president reiterated the commitment of his government to improve the quality of lives of the citizens and provide employment and prosperity.
He expressed his commitment toward tackling poverty by providing opportunities for employment for those who were hitherto unemployed.
” We certainly cannot meet every one of those Nigerians in person, but our economic policies and investment in infrastructures such as this National Housing Programme and others will reach and positively impact many of them,” he said.
Also speaking, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the Federal Government initiated the housing programme to construct acceptable and affordable houses for Nigerians nationwide.
According to the minister, the first phase of the programme commenced in 2016 in 35 states and the FCT and is being implemented by his ministry.
“For the benefit of Nigerians, on this initiative, over 1,200 building contractors have been engaged under phases I, lI and lll of the programme since inception in 2016 and over 14,500 and 50,140 direct and indirect jobs have been created.
” During this period, the ministry had been undertaking the construction of over 6,000 housing units in 45 sites, out of which 2,465 units have been completed in 35 states and FCT,” he said.
Fashola thanked the president for approving the initiative and the governors for their support in its successful implementation.