FG Commissions 100-Unit Housing Estate In Imo

FG Commissions 100-Unit Housing Estate In ImoThe Federal Government has successfully completed a 100-unit housing estate in Imo State under the Ministerial Pilot Housing Project of the Ministry of Power, Works and Hosing.

The project was built through the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria to provide low cost housing for public workers across Nigeria.

The Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Shehuri, said the Federal Government through the ministry would continue to strive to ensure that the challenge of housing deficit in Nigeria was surmounted.

He added that it was government’s plan to build mass housing units across the country for public workers over the next three years through a Public-Private Partnership arrangement.

The minister was speaking in company of the Imo State Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere, who represented Governor Rochas Okorocha at the commissioning of the housing unit at Naze industrial layout in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

He explained that national housing models have been designed and approved for each geo-political zone, to ensure the use of standard building materials.

“This housing unit is a Private-Public Partnership (PPP) arrangement which will be affordable to Nigerians, especially public servants.

“The Federal Government through the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has signed a two billion Naira MoU with Shelter Afri (an African shelter company), to build affordable houses for Nigerians.

“So I want to call on workers in Imo State to take advantage of this scheme,” Shehuri said.

Hope To Middle Class Earners

Commending the Federal Government for the project, Mr Madumere said the project would go a long way to complement the policies of the State Government in providing affordable housing units for workers in the state.

He disclosed that the State Government was already in talks with the labour union in Imo State on the matter.

“This housing scheme is apt and what the state needs at this critical time; Imo residents need roofs over their heads. This is giving hope to the middle class earners.

“For us, it is a commendable effort. My leader and Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, is ever ready to continue to partner with the Federal Government in such programmes and projects, since it is geared towards making life better for the people of Imo State,” the Deputy Governor said.

In his address, the Managing Director of the mortgage bank, Mr Richard Esin, said the bank and the project have become effective vehicles through which the Federal Government actualises its policy for the provision of affordable housing for Nigerians.

He added that with the consistent contributions of the National Housing Fund Scheme, Nigerian workers would become eligible for mortgage loans at concessionary interest rates of 6% per annum.

“Through this scheme, over 2200 houses have been built for public workers by the Federal Government in all the six geo-political zones of the country. This in turn will surely address the housing deficit in the country,” Mr Esin said.

Climax of the occasion was the launch and cutting of the tape of the housing estate as the dignitaries were taken on a tour round the facility.

The 100-unit housing estate comprises of 48 units of 3-bedroom fully detached bungalows, 40 units of 2-bedroom semi-detached bungalows and 12 units of 1-bedroom terrace.

As disclosed by the mortgage bank, the sum of 592.3 million Naira was invested for the development of the 100-unit housing estate.

EHINGBETI 2014 To Focus On Accelerating Sustained Growth Through Power

EHINGBETI 2014The 7th Lagos Economic Summit, EHINGBETI 2014 which will hold between April 8 and 10, will focus on accelerating the sustained growth of the economy of Lagos especially through the creation of a vibrant and cost effective power sector.

On this segment of Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transport, Kayode Opeifa, Commissioner for Housing, Bosun Jeje and Commissioner for Agriculture, Gbolahan Lawal, speak on the importance of the Summit to their respective sectors.

They also stressed the need for a better power sector which would help other sectors of the economy grow and alleviate poverty.

The Summit Group was inaugurated in April 2001 as a framework for private-public partnership.


Anambra Primary Schools Get 5 Billion Naira For Facility Upgrade

The Anambra State Government has released another 5billion Naira for continued rehabilitation of both public and mission schools in the state.

This comes one week after the presentation of 5billion Naira Conditional Grant Scheme for accelerated execution of projects in various Local Government Areas of the state, towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

In a ceremony at the Women Development Center, Awka, the State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, who presented the cheque alongside the Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission, Dr. Suleman Dikko, announced that his administration though gradually coming to an end, would ensure total transformation of the education sector in the state.

When in 2011, Anambra State Governor handed over schools previously owned by missions back to them; he resolved to provide continued financial resources to assist in the renovation and reconstruction of the dilapidated buildings in those schools.

According to the Commissioner for Education, Dr. Uju Okeke, the Governor further embarked on procurement of school buses, laptops and instructional materials, and presently, over 250,000 laptops and over 400 buses have been distributed to schools. All those the commissioner said were geared towards producing high quality brains and better leaders of tomorrow.

While the Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr. Suleman Dikko, maintained that the educational policy of Anambra State was one to be copied because of its direct impact, the Country Director of United Nations International Children’s Education Fund, UNICEF, Charles Nzuki, urged all to invest in education.

While over 1.6billion Naira went to the Catholic mission primary schools, over 1.1billion Naira went to the Anglican; another 2.3billion Naira went to the public schools, the State Governor, before the disbursement of the cheques, said that he was not yet done with the educational transformation of the state.

UNICEF has selected Anambra State out of the states in the South East of Nigeria for Private Public Partnership, PPP, which will be launched in March 2014.

Shonekan urges Jonathan to tackle infrastructural deficiency

Former Head of Interim Government of Nigeria, Ernest Shonekan on Tuesday said Nigeria’s infrastructure deficiency will remain persistent despite the federal government’s effort at transforming this critical aspect of development.

Former Head of Interim Government of Nigeria, Ernest Shonekan

Mr Shonekan said this after he led the governing board of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), which he chairs, to present the 2011 annual report and audited financial statement of the commission to President Goodluck Jonathan in the presidential villa, Abuja.

He enumerated the challenges confronting the commission in the realisation of its goals as: inability to mobilise long term funding for project development, inability to commit Ministries, Departments and Parastatals (MDAs) to a stable and coherent pipeline of Private Public Partnership (PPP) and poor project preparation by MDAs.

Other challenges identified by Mr Shonekan are: inability to enforce vital aspects of the ICRC act in its current form, absence of coherent infrastructure investment programme, non-integration of PPP projects into the national planning framework and paucity of funds for the commission’s operations.

“Addressing these challenges is critical to the success of ICRC and the attainment of the infrastructure component of your transformation agenda,” Mr Shonekan said.

Consequently, he said it will require the political will of the Presidency and all the others to make sure that the country infrastructure is developed; adding that without infrastructures, there will not be much progress.

Mr Shonekan, who spoke to journalists at the end of the presentation, said “It is not only in this country that we have infrastructure deficit. If you look round now, even the developed countries have infrastructure deficits. The way forward is what everybody seems to be doing; and that is to see how they can reduce that deficit. So, each and every one of us have to put our thinking cap on to see how we can bridge that gap within a short period of time.

“With all these disasters that have been happening round the world, even western countries which started their infrastructural development well before us they are now thinking of doing fresh infrastructures because the infrastructure they had in the last century are becoming antiquated. We have an opportunity now to be able to do our own infrastructures. I think the best thing is to get people who are interested in the development of infrastructures to assist us in doing our own.

“That is why we said we will need the political will of the Presidency and all the others each and every one of us must have to contribute our own quota to make sure that we developed our own. Without infrastructures, there will not be much progress.

With the foundation laid and policy guidelines in place, Mr Shonekan said it was now “time to really work hard to make sure that we attract investors because infrastructure development is not a short term thing. It is a long term thing.”

He also pointed out that “nobody will come to invest in the country if he is not sure of the returns especially if it is a long term project. He will want to make sure that he is able to get something.”

On encouragement being given to the private sectors, he said “I think we are encouraging them enough, but we still have to do more because we are not competing against ourselves here we are competing against the rest of the world. Money will go to where they can earn better returns for their investments. We have to make sure that we start laying the red carpets for investors who are willing to come. In spite of all the challenges, we have to do more.”

The chairman of the ICRC earlier indicated that the commission recorded some achievements since its inauguration in 2008. Within its first two years “the commission recruited key staff, developed organisational processes and engaged MDAs and other stakeholders.”

It also developed a National Policy Framework for PPP, held regional engagement workshops across the country “to secure the buy-in of stakeholders” on the policy and issued operational guidelines for PPP to MDAs. The commission also worked on bridging institutional knowledge gap and “collaborated with states to set up their PPP units, transfer best practices, provide a legal, policy and regulatory environment that is conducive to private sector investment in infrastructure projects.”

Between 2010-2012, Mr Shonekan said the board focused on harnessing the commission’s regulatory role and cap its achievements with the winning of the Africa’s Investor Award in South Africa as well as the 2010 Public Private Partnership Award of the Commonwealth Business Council.

Presenting the commission’s 2011 report, Mr Shonekan said it received a little less than N1.1 billion appropriated for it and expended N1.016 billion.

“The sum of N325, 811,000 was brought forward from 2010 financial year and the balance in the capital vote of N8.5 million was moved forward to 2012,” He said.

He said out of this N325, 763,039.45 was spent as the remaining N47, 960.55 “was returned to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.”