Jonathan Launches N960bn Workers' Housing Scheme

Jonathan Launches N960bn Workers' Housing Scheme

President Goodluck Jonathan will on Wednesday  launch about 600, 000 housing units valued at N960 billion ($6 billion) for Nigerian workers.

President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC),  Abdulwahed Omar said at the weekend that ground breaking ceremony will hold in Karsana, Abuja.

As part of efforts to build affordable houses for its members, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) entered into partnership with Kriston Lally EPC Nigeria Limited, a private property developer to build affordable housing estates for Nigerian workers in all the 36 states including the FCT.

The collaboration of NLC with Kriston Lally EPC Nigeria Limited is to ensure a good number of the labour members have decent roofs over their heads.

An agreement which will bring the housing projects into reality was signed on April 6, 2013 by Deputy President of the NLC, Mr. Promise Adewusi, and the Group Managing Director (GMD) of Kriston Lally EPC Nigeria Limited, Mr. Mustapha Madawaki.

He said the decision to embark upon the project was informed by the 40 million housing deficit in the country as revealed by a United Nations study stating that the Congress plan will build affordable houses for all willing members of the Congress.

He added that preparations have been put in place for the launch of the scheme which he said will be beneficial to Nigerian workers.

"On the issue of housing, we are very serious about it and before we leave office we hope to see that quite a number of workers would have gotten shelter. The most important thing is that we would have laid a foundation whereby on continuous basis, Nigerian workers will continue to get houses in a very easy way by just depositing 10 per cent and then get a house that they will continue to pay for over a period of time.

“What  we are after is to lay this very solid foundation for Nigerian workers and it is not only workers in Abuja, but workers all over the country. So far, we have written letters to so many state governors and the responses have been very positive. They are also very eager; many of them have promised giving us lands. In fact some have already allocated land for this purpose,” Omar said.

Speaking on the benefits of the project to workers, Omar said: "You know that the moment you are able to get land, you have removed a substantial part of the cost of the house and then with this kind of arrangement where somebody will just pay 10 per cent and then subsequently when you get the house you start paying the balance over a period of time.”

He noted that the housing estates will  include construction of a four-star hotel with a 180-guestroom capacity.

Speaking further, he said the NLC has entered into a tripartite agreement with the Federal Mortgage Bank and the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) to build effordable houses for Nigerian workers.

"Apart from Kriston Lally, we are also working in a tripartite situation with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, with NECA, that is the employers’ association, and on the other side NLC and TUC to build affordable houses for workers. That is also a very big project, we are making progress,”Omar said.

Speaking also at the evengt, Madawaki assured that the NLC and Kriston Lally have done everything to ensure that Nigerian workers, especially those who have subscribed for the first phase get their houses as scheduled.

Madawaki said: "In practical term, we are ready. We have cleared our sites. We have imported block making factory. It is already in Abuja. We have mobilised virtually all our staff that are supposed to be on sites and our sub-contractors are all sensitized and ready. So, in practical term, we as company are ready.

On the fear that the delay would probably affect the December 2014 delivery date promised to subscribers, he assured that they will not be any set back pledging that the deadline will be met.

He said: "The issue of the deadline is not going to suffer, because if you look at the pilot study which is the first phase, we are only concentrating on 5,000 houses in Abuja. It is the second phase that will involve Abuja, PortHarcourt, Lagos, Imo State and Adamawa, and that will be huge number."

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