AFFORDABLE HOUSING: FCT Minister Charges MDAs of Government to Take Advantage of Empty Estates in Abuja.
The FCT Minister Mallam Muhammed Musa Bello has advised Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government to take advantage of the numerous empty Housing Estates in Abuja to provide Affordable Housing for their members of staff.
The minister who gave this advise in Abuja on Thursday when he received the Management of the National Defence College who paid him a courtesy visit in his office said that the template of everybody getting land and starting a cooperative housing estate is no longer feasible in the FCT.
According to a statement by his Special Assistant on Media Abubakar Sani, Mallam Bello who was responding to a request by the management of the National Defence College for a piece of Land for the college to build a mass housing estate for its members of staff advised government institutions and other private organizations seeking land for mass housing in the FCT to take advantage of the empty estates that are littered across the city and negotiate with finance houses for a suitable long term financing agreement. While adding that interested parties should identify reasonably priced houses within the FCT model that should be able to meet up with their requirements.
The minister added that it would be futile for these organizations to continue to apply and wait for land for mass housing in the already developed phases of the territory, where land allocations have fully exhausted.
In his words “The reality is that getting land where infrastructure is developed partially or about to be developed is going to be increasingly difficult. “Land is no longer available in phase 1, phase 2, phase 3, and even in some parts of phase 4 of Abuja. We are now planning phase five. But then we sat down and reflected and we said if you keep on opening phases and you don’t provide infrastructure, at the end of the day, you just have pockets of slums all over the city. That’s why as an administration, we are not keen on giving land because we are not sure of when infrastructure is going to be there.”
Bello however disclosed that the FCT Administration is reviewing land allocations it made to government institutions and other developers in the territory for mass housing purposes, adding that it might be forced to revoke some of these plots and reallocate to more serious contenders in the areas where no appreciable development have been.
The minister also used the medium to commended the management of the National Defence College for working assiduously towards completing the permanent site of the college at Piwoyi, Abuja.
The FCT Minister, while welcoming efforts by the National Defence College to move to its permanent site, said the FCT Administration will do whatever is necessary to ensure that they are able to move as quickly as possible to a more comfortable location, adding that a number of national and multilateral agencies are waiting to take over their existing location.
Musa Bello who frowned at the rapid expansion of illegal settlements around the area, said steps are being taken to discourage the negative trend.
Earlier in his remark, the Commandant of the National Defence College Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo said the team was on a familiarity visit to the Minister to explain what they have been doing and also raise issues for the attention of the FCT Minister.
“As our landlord, we have continued to enjoy your support and we are very grateful, particularly the relationship between the Administration and the College. The College has continued to grow in strength and in terms of the scope of our activities.