By Yinka Kolawole
The Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) is set to embark on an aggressive mass housing programme at an estimated cost of N75 billion, that will deliver 5,000 housing units by 2011.
The Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Adamu Aliero, disclosed this recently in Abuja when the Managing /CEO of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Mr. Terver Gemade, paid him a courtesy visit.
Aliero said that the decision to embark on the project is predicated on the need to address housing deficit being experienced in the FCT, arising from mass influx of people into the territory, will be executed in collaboration with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), adding that they are already working out the modalities on how the funds would be effectively utilised.
The minister said that the FCT is ready to fully support every effort that will result in the construction of mass housing units in the territory, adding that the FCT administration recognises the need to collaborate with FHA, being the biggest developer of mass housing in the country which many Nigerians have benefited from, along with other private developers to achieve its target.
He noted that the FCT administration is presently making efforts to review the mass housing policy and will take it to the federal Executive Council for approval, after which it will consider approval for 2,000 hectares of land requested by FHA.
He, however, warned that existing laws and regulations guiding mass housing development in the FCT must be strictly adhered to as there will be zero tolerance for non-conformity with the Abuja master plan.
Aliero further disclosed that the FCT administration will embark on mass relocation of villages of the Abuja natives within the territory from next year, adding that reasonable budgetary provision would be made in the 2010 FCT statutory budget to adequately take care of the planned relocation exercise.
He warned that plots of land allocated to the FHA are meant for mass housing and not for re-allocation to other private individuals or corporate organizations, adding that the FCT Development Control must be carried along in all developmental efforts by all stakeholders.
Gemade had earlier noted that the FHA has delivered 12,000 housing units in different parts of FCT since the creation of Abuja in 1976, and further requested that 2,000 hectares of land be allocated to it for the construction of Abuja New Town Development, to be sited in Bwari Area Council, which would be equipped with all public facilities and amenities to service all categories in the economic strata. He also disclosed plans by FHA to develop over 100,000 housing units in Abuja by 2013, as a way of helping to decongest the city centre which has led to the over-stretching of facilities.