The federal government is to construct 500 housing units in each of the 109 senatorial districts across the country within the next ten months.
Newly appointed Minister for Land, Housing and Urban Development,Â Mr.Â NdueseÂ Essien, made the promise which will lead to a total delivery of 54,500 new houses on completion, during his inaugural meeting with directors and heads of departments of the ministry in Abuja.
Essien remarked that the only way the targeted housing delivery can be met is by engaging only service providers withÂ best practices standards, adding that no contract will be awarded without passing due process requirements. He noted that the task of providing decent and affordable housing, planned development of our cities and towns and the management of our land resource are herculean.
â€œOver 86 percent of Nigerians cannot afford a house valued at N1.5 million even if they invested 100 percent of their earnings over a period of ten years.Â Obviously, this is a very unlikely scenario as no one can save 100 percent of their earnings. However, the above picture offers a vivid view of the enormous task that lies ahead of us,â€Â he said.
The minister had earlier assumed duties with a call for cooperation of the staff of the ministry in order to ensure speedy delivery of more houses for Nigerians.
He noted that land reforms and the provision of housing for all Nigerians were key items in the present administrationâ€™s seven_point agenda, and called for more creative, strategic planning and programming to bring them to reality.
It would be recalled that Ag. President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, in his recently re-constituted cabinet, split the former ministry of works, housing and urban development into two – namely: ministry ofÂ works and; ministry for land, housing and urban development.