By Victor Ernest
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, says houses built under the Federal Housing Scheme will be allocated to all Nigerians, irrespective of their states of origin.
Fashola made the remarks while speaking with newsmen shortly after a tour of federal projects on Sunday in Maiduguri, Borno state.
Housing for all
He said all qualified Nigerian residents in a particular state would be given equal opportunity to own a house, regardless of their origin or tribe.
”I prefer to use the word residents to indicate people who live or work in the states where the houses are built rather than those who are indigenous to the state,” Fashola said.
He said the houses built in Bauchi, for example, were for the residents and people working in Bauchi.
Affordable housing policy
The minister explained that the objective of the scheme was to deliver affordable houses to workers based on the National Housing Policy.
According to the minister, there is a National Housing Policy in place aimed at providing affordable housing but there has been no programme in place to deliver the houses.
”That is what this programme is all about,” he said.
Fashola said that the programme would ensure acceptability by stakeholders.
He said the programme was built on a foundation that requires consulting stakeholders by conducting survey so the stakeholders can take ownership of it.
”We are consulting and we hope that we will be able to carry along the stakeholders so that they can take ownership of the scheme,” he said.
He added that it was after this stage that the ministry could talk about affordability.
A multi-faceted approach
Fashola said that the housing scheme was also part of government multi-facet approach to economic development.
He explained that the programme was part of government efforts to create value chain economic activities aimed at empowering Nigerians all over the country.
”Workers will be happy on site getting paid from contractors to take care of their families and patronising food and others,” he said.
The minister also said the ministry was training artisans like carpenters and bricklayers, among others, to be relevant technically.