By Emman Ovuakporie and Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – THE Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola yesterday assured Nigerians that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was committed towards ensuring the provision of affordable houses for low income earners.
The Minister gave the assurance in Abuja, while addressing the Obinna Chidoka-led House Committee on Habitat, which requested for details of the budget implementation on Habitat.
He disclosed that there were plans to roll out habitat agenda that would accommodate public and private sector workers, especially persons with low incomes, adding that consideration will be given to workers within Grade Levels 08 to 15.
He explained that the new policy would be standardized and made flexible to take into consideration building needs of Nigerians across ethic, cultural and religious backgrounds.
Fashola said parts of the considerations include provisions of power, water, access roads and security for the proposed low-cost houses.
According to him, “At the ministry, we see issues of habitat as crucial in driving the housing sector in the country.
“This is the reason we participated in the habitat conference, where we expressed our commitments and are working towards the domestication of the agreements we have reached on housing matters.
“For the 2016 budget relating to habitat, the records of expenditures are not with me right now. There are with the DFA (director of finance) and will be made available to you later.
“But I must say that we’re starting a new housing policy, in which we’ll create economic outlets for artisans.
“We are aiming at completing old housing schemes and beginning new ones, where we’re targeting those in levels 08 to 15 in public sector and those in private sector, bearing in mind the different cultural, religious and other needs of the people in the construction of the buildings.”
Chairman of the Committee, Obinna Chidoka requested for the details on how the 2016 budget on habitat was spent as the the former Ministry of Housing and Urban Development was merged with Ministry of Power, Works and Housing by the present administration.
He also pledged the Committee’s readiness to provide necessary assistance in enhancing activities in the Ministry through adequate funding.