By Meletus EZE
The Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mr Mustapha Shehuri, has expressed concerns over lack of housing for more than 70 million Nigerians.
Shehuri who made the disclosure in Calabar on Sunday that said “ the development was worrisome to the Federal Government.’’
He stated this after the inspection of the National Housing Programme of the Federal Government at Ikot Omin community in Calabar.
He said that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was determined to provide affordable houses for millions of Nigerians, who do not own houses.
According to him, the Ministry has been strategising on how to launch the phase two of the project in the state with a view to providing more houses for Nigerians.
‘‘This is National Housing Programme and it is meant to provide affordable houses for Nigerians.
‘‘There is a value that one has to pay to own a building like this; that is why the buildings here are for all Nigerians that can afford it.
‘‘This is an attempt to make houses affordable to all Nigerians because according to statistics, more than 70 million Nigerians don’t have houses.
‘‘The contractors have written to us that they need more release of funds to enable them complete the project.
‘‘I am going to take this up to ensure that money is released to enable them complete the building in the first quarter of 2019,’’ he said.
The contractor from Tictos Limited Mr Orok Effangha, said that the project had brought development to the Cross River community.
He added that the Federal Government’s efforts would go a long way in solving the housing deficit in the country.
The minister, who also inspected the Emergency Repair of Washout at Pamol, along the Calabar-Odukpani highway, praised the Sermatech Construction Company for the good work done.
He gave assurance that the Federal Government would intensify efforts in ensuring that all federal roads in Cross River are rehabilitated.
Briefing the minister earlier on the emergency repair, Mr Bassey Nsentip, Federal Controller of Works in Cross River, said the project was awarded to Sermatech Construction in 2017.
He said the project commenced on Aug. 4, 2017 as soon as the ministry noticed a collapse of a section of the culvert on the road.
‘‘At that point, Calabar was almost cut-off from the rest of the country. So the ministry intervened immediately and commissioned Sermatech to move in to fix the road.
‘‘We worked from Aug. 4 and about Dec. 8, 2017, the job was completed.
‘‘Before the completion of the project, we created a diversion to ease movements (of vehicles) because the road was almost cut-off.
‘‘Since that time, the project has been opened for public use for over a year now,’’ he said.