By Henry Umoru
ABUJA â€” NOT moved by criticisms that are trailing the increase of land premium and application charges in the Federal Capital Territory, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Senator Mohammad Adamu Aliero yesterday insisted that this was the only panacea to the problem of housing in the territory.
According to Aliero, the FCTA has embraced the public private partnership initiative as part of moves to achieve its set target of providing houses to residents of the territory at affordable rates.
Speaking yesterday while laying the foundation for the Godab Estate in Kafe district of the FCT, he explained that many plot owners had been given title documents, but could not develop them due to the inability of government to provide basic infrastructure in those areas.
Godab Estate, which is a public private partnership initiative of the administration for mass housing, occupiesÂ about 20 hectares of land in Kafe district, Phase Four of the FCT.
The minister who reiterated that land speculators had contributed in compounding the problems of housing in the FCT, said: â€œThis is in addition to the land speculators making billions from the sale of plots, which is by extension the selling of infrastructure because without such improvement, such plots wouldnâ€™t be worth such amount of money. From our detailed investigations, speculators sell these plots for up to N36,000 per square metre.
â€œI believe there is nothing wrong in contributing a little of that for the government to provide such infrastructure. These are some of the reasons that have informed the decision of government to increase the land charges,â€ he said.
Represented by his Special Assistant on Special Duties, Mr. Chris Ugorji, he noted that housing anywhere in the world was a pivotal index of human development, just as he called on members of the organised private sector to take advantage of the business environment created by the government to contribute their quota in the development of the FCT.
He said the administration would continue to encourage investors by providing them with plots for mass housing projects to allow even the less privileged own houses in Abuja.