Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, Tuesday declared the intention of his administration to construct 5,000 housing units in 2013 to make housing more affordable for the people of the state.
The governor, in his New Year broadcast in Ado-Ekiti, also revealed that newly established Peace Corps will become operational in the New Year to complement the efforts of security agencies in tackling crimes and making the state more secure.
Fayemi, who described 2013 as Ekiti's Year of Empowerment and Consolidation, maintained that the year will witness wealth creation through the provision of a conducive environment for job creation, youth and women empowerment, among others.
According to him, his administration will continue to support government workers by improving their welfare in 2013 through various incentives to motivate them for greater performance.
Speaking on the plan to build at least 5,000 new houses in 2013, Fayemi noted that the move was to save more citizens of the state from shylock landlords and dubious property developers cashing in on inadequacy of decent houses.
He said the scheme to be known as "Homes Agenda" would coordinate the efforts of various stakeholders in the housing sector. It will also incorporate the engagement of the private sector through a Public-Private Partnership arrangement.
Also, on the establishment of Peace Corps in the state, the governor said, is borne out of the need to provide the enabling environment for all citizens and residents to pursue their legitimate businesses in an atmosphere of congenial peace.
Fayemi said: "It is common knowledge for all of us that society thrives more and attracts higher economic growth when there is peace. Consequently, State Peace Corps will become operational in the New Year to complement the efforts of the regular law enforcement agencies to bring criminal activities to a significant low level.
The Social Security Scheme of his administration for registered elderly persons who are 65 years and above will be extended beyond the scope of 20,000 beneficiaries who are receiving monthly stipends of N5,000.
While further unfolding the plans of his administration to build two new General Hospitals in Ilawe and Iye while the Oba Adejugbe General Hospital Complex hitherto abandoned would be completed in the first half of the year, the governor said arrangements have been concluded for the comprehensive renovation of all the 20 Specialist and General Hospitals as well as 35 Basic Health Centres across the state in 2013.
With Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, already undergoing massive transformation, Fayemi said government would focus on the construction of township roads in Ikere, Ikole and Ijero, which used to be divisional headquarters.
He disclosed that a new ministry will be created to bring together Community Development, Rural Development, Cooperative Services and Social Mobilization to coordinate anti-poverty strategies.
On tourism development in the state, Fayemi revealed that the Ikogost Tourist Resort will officially be opened for business in the first quarter of the year, saying the massive investment in tourism was geared towards making Ekiti the most attractive destination for relaxation and holidays in Nigeria.
He pointed out that the revival of two moribund industrial facilities (Ire Burnt Bricks and Odua Enterprise Centre) has expanded state's resources and provide more job opportunities for its citizens.