5 December 2012

Nigeria: FCT Gets New Policy to Reduce Housing Cost Soon

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is to have a new housing policy which will help in reducing the cost of housing in Abuja and its environs, before the end of this month.

According to the Minister of State for the FCT, Ms. Olajumoke Akinjide, the policy would entail the administration providing land that will be free of all encumbrances to estate developers so as to relieve them of that cost.

She said it would impact positively on Nigerians by way of reduction in the costs of acquiring houses within the territory.

Another cost to be taken off the shoulders of developers, she said, is that of providing infrastructure as the government would provide water, electricity and roads, among others, in the new estate.

To this end, Akinjide disclosed that the Satellite Towns Development Agency of the FCT had been resuscitated.

"If all they (developers) have to do is build houses without having to provide infrastructure, then there will be no need for expensive houses," she averred.

Akinjide spoke at the ground-breaking ceremony of the 4,000-unit Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed Housing Estate at Ushafa in Bwari Area Council of the FCT, named after the minister.

"I am happy because President Goodluck Jonathan's policy is focused on the ordinary Nigerians, most of whom are in the area councils.

"He wants the same infrastructure for them as those enjoyed in the urban areas. So we have resurrected the Satellite Towns Development Agency for that purpose," she said.

The minister of state also expressed delight that the developer of the estate, Jedo Investment Corporation, had promised to deliver high quality houses in the next 18 months.

Saadatu Suleiman, who represented the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama Pepple, said the ministry was working toward alternative technology that would deliver houses faster.

Chairman of Bwari Area Council, Dr Peter Ushafa, urged the developer to consider allocating houses from the estate to staff of his council before other people.

The hairman of the company, Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko, said the housing units, ranging from one-bedroom flats to duplexes, would cost as low as N3.5 million.

He said the estate, which would be built with state-of-the-art technology, would have all the needed infrastructure, from electricity to roads, pipe-bore water, sewage and schools.

He, however, requested the government to assist in connecting it to the national grid and in benefiting from the Lower Usuman Dam nearby for water supply.

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