The Federal Government on Friday inaugurated 76 housing units under the first phase of the national housing project in Ilorin, Kwara State.
The housing estate located at Osin Aremu community, off Asa Dam area in Ilorin West Local Government Area of the state, consists of road, infrastructure, water provision and electricity connection.
The President, Major General Mohamadu Buhari, was represented at the ceremony by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
President Buhari said that the Federal Government embarked on a housing programme for the construction of acceptable and affordable houses in 35 states of the federation as part of the development agenda to address housing needs in the country.
He said the inaugurated housing estate was a fulfilment of the promise of change made in 2015, adding that it was an indication of developmental possibilities that inter-governmental collaboration between the state and the federal government could produce.
“With the support of the Kwara State government who 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. I am optimistic that with the provision of more land, the Federal Government certainly can do more,” the President added.
He also said the housing estate would improve people’s lives in many ways.
“The micro, small and medium-size businesses, which drive our economy, were the ones who won the contracts to build these 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 ordinary Nigerians.
“They engaged suppliers who benefited from sub-contracts for the supply of building materials from sand to cement, roofing and plumbing material to doors and electrical fitting,” he explained.
He maintained that 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.
“In the states where the houses have been completed, we have issued maintenance contracts to small businesses to ensure that the estates are maintained and kept in good repair.
“These are jobs that did not exist that we have created. Of course, we must not overlook the capital appreciation of the value of the adjoining land and the income benefit to the landowners from our investment in infrastructure,” he said.
In his speech presented by the Head of Department, Public Building in the Ministry of Works and Housing, Architect Solomon Labafilo, the Minister, Babatunde Fashola, said the breakdown of the housing units are 48 units of two-bedroom bungalows; 20 units of three-bedroom bungalows; four units of one-bedroom and four units of three-bedroom (using stabilised earth).
The minister said that the building contracts were awarded in November 2016 at a total cost of N728. 49bn, added that the infrastructure contracts were awarded in May 2017 at a total cost of N619. 26m.
“Road, drains and asphalt finishing N446,161,616.07, electricity supply and installation of 500 Kva transformers – N85,103,319.00, and motorized borehole – N87,996,825.00”, the minister disclosed.