ADDRESS BY THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF LANDS, HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, DR.(MRS.) AKON EYAKENYI, AT THE COMMISSIONING OF THE FMBN –JEDO INVESTMENT CO. LTD, SULEJA, MINISTERIAL HOUSING PROJECT.
I am delighted to be in your midst this afternoon for the commissioning of this 102 unit residential housing estate, comprising 32, No I bedroom units, 40 No. 2 bedroom units and 30No. 3 bedroom units as another important step by the present Administration, under the visionary leadership of His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to bring affordable homes to the door step of the citizenry, especially to the low-income earners in Nigeria.
2. Over the past four years, we have witnessed impressive strides in the housing and urban development sector arising from the determination by His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, to ensure that the sector is revamped and reinvigorated to enable it serve as a virile engine of growth for promoting socio-economic development. We are, therefore, appreciative of the genuine concern that Mr. President has shown over the past five years to effectively place the sector at the epicenter of national development under the on-going Transformation Agenda in order to fully harness its potential for sustainable and equitable growth.
3. In the last one year in particular, many initiatives were launched by this Administration in order to phenomenally improve the access of the citizenry to affordable homes. These include launch of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) and offer of 23,000 mortgages under the scheme; flag-off of the 100, 000 housing project for workers in Nigeria by Mr. President recently and development of a framework for undertaking a national housing survey to determine whether Nigerians are adequately housed in order to implement remedial measures to reduce the national housing deficit. Other measures include the construction of 10,000 housing units under the Presidential Initiative on affordable housing being championed by the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development for which the Ministry has signed some Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with reputable developers; development of a Revised National Building Code to improve standards and enhance professionalism and professionalism in the sector and the development of a Roadmap for the housing and urban development sector in order to transform the sector sustainably through interventions which involve taking short, medium and long term perspectives of the gamut of issues to be addressed in the sector in order to effectively reposition it over the next 30 years.
4. The Ministerial Housing Project being commissioned today when concluded is expected to deliver a total of 2,600 housing units across the country in the 6-geo-political zones. The project is being executed through the collaborative partnership of the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) an some private real estate developers. While the Ministry provided unencumbered land for the project, the FMBN handled the financing arrangements and the developers were responsible for the actual construction based both on the agreed specifications and time-lines of project completion.
5. I would like to commend the entire staff and management of the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and our partners on this project, namely the FMBN and Jedo Investment Company Limited for the successful completion of this project culminating in its commissioning today. They have played their roles dutifully to ensure that this estate which was completed in less than one year has been delivered on time, and within budget. This is to demonstrate that with effective planning and prudent management, a great deal can be achieved within the shortest possible time.
6. Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to place on record that no administration in our recent history has accomplished what has been done under the guidance and inspirational leadership of Mr. President, His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, lately in the housing and urban development sector. Indeed, the basic building blocks to ensure that the sector becomes a prime driver of sustainable national development from now till year 2043 and beyond, consisting of national policies, strategies and plans have either been put in place or are being finalized for implementation at the three tiers of Government. The transformation in the housing and urban development sector is, therefore, real and it will be more evident by impacting on the citizenry over the coming years as we consolidate on the gains and refuse to turn back the hand of the clock, as well as the wheel of progress in housing and urban development sector..
7. Let me , therefore, urge you all to continue to support our amiable and visionary leader, His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, in the determined efforts by Mr. President to make Nigeria a great country through the transformation being championed by this Administration in every sector of our national life. We make bold to say that there is a new breath of fresh air in this sector which is largely attributable to the political will and the exemplary provided by Mr. President to ensure that Nigerians of all income segments have improved access to affordable homes. We are bold in affirming that Mr. President has vigorously re-energized the housing and urban development sector and taken it to unprecedented heights. I urge you all, therefore, to continue to offer your support to His Excellency, Mr. President to enable him achieve all the milestones envisioned by the great leader of our time to restore the pride and dignity of our beloved nation, Nigeria, as the true giant of Africa and a model nation state in democratic governance.
8. I thank you all for your kind attention.