The South East Zonal Director, Housing, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Arthur Abara says the Federal Government is creating jobs through mass housing projects across the country.
Abara said this in Enugu on Friday at the site of the National Housing Programme Estate in Ugwuogo Nike during the media tour of ongoing Federal Government projects in the South East.
He said that this current effort was the first time since 1999 that the Federal Government was directly investing in the housing sector for workers and Nigerians at large.
He, however, said that the ongoing efforts were not just aimed at providing affordable houses for Nigerians but a deliberate attempt to create employment for Nigerians.
“Housing is now seen as one of the key indices for employment and for engaging people. That is why we have to build in every state,” he said.
The zonal director regretted some of the challenges they had to grapple with before beginning construction in some states.
“We had the issue of getting a suitable site in Enugu State because they initially gave us a place that was so hilly and with coal underneath. So we could not build there.
“They gave us another place that had no access road. The current site was the last place they gave us and we have no other option because if we reject it we may not build at all,” he said.
Abara, however, commended the state government for showing interest in the project, adding that there were states that had not even allocated sites for the project.
“This project is expected to be replicated across the federation but there are states that have not given out lands.
“You build wherever is allocated to you because President Muhammadu Buhari wants to make great impact on the housing sector,” Abara said.
The Deputy Director, Public Building and Housing Department of the ministry, Mrs Tina Eneh, said that the building was for low and medium income earners.
Eneh said that the Federal Government had made commitment to make the houses affordable for the targeted income group.
She said that the facility comprised one bedroom, two bedrooms and three bedrooms apartments with a complete neighbourhood housing schools, recreation center, worship centers, clinic and shopping areas.
“We have four blocks of single rooms, six blocks of two bed rooms and 24 flats of condominium with a place for the handicapped. We are looking to complete it by the end of this year,” she said.
Eneh said that enrollees of the National Housing Fund (NHF) were qualified to benefit from the project.
“What qualifies a civil servant to be a beneficiary is to be an enrollee of the NHF. However, with the help of mortgage institutions it can be worked out even if you do not have the funds available,” Eneh said.
Also, the Controller of Housing, Enugu, Mr Godwin Emesue, said that the ministry was working out the final modalities for the distribution of the housing units.
Emesue said that there were no serious challenges in the construction of the houses, adding that members of the host community had been friendly.
A supplier at the site, Mr Ezekiel Eze said that his engagement to supply materials at the site had enabled him go back to school to complete his higher education.
Eze, who said that he dropped out of school due to financial challenges said: “I was searching for what to do to continue my education. I then applied as a supplier here and was employed.
“Right now I am back to school to complete my Higher National Diploma (HND) with the little money I get,” Eze said..