By Patrick Andrew Abuja
Th e implementation of the National Housing Programme (NHP) is having direct impact on the people as career builders, contractors, artisans, vendors and auxiliary personnel are being engaged in the value chain. Th e Minister of State, Ministry of Power, Works, and Housing, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, said yesterday in the Kastina State NHP site located at Kwakwa, near the state capital while inspecting housing project sites in the NorthWest geo-political zone. Th e minister, who commended the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for implementing the NHP, said the government had deliberately designed the programme to create jobs for both the skilled and unskilled graduates in the country.
“Th e National Housing Programme (NHP) is a demonstration of the political will of the administration to deliver on critical infrastructure in fulfi llment of its electioneering promise to Nigerians. Th e programme will have direct impact on the people as many professionals, contractors, artisans and vendors are being engaged in the value chain,” he said stressing that building of houses throughout the federation has created jobs as well as provide needed houses for teeming Nigerians. Mustapha Baba Shehuri, who expressed delight with the progress of works at the Katsina NHP, said the site has a total of 76 units comprising of 4 units of single bedroom, 48 units of double bedrooms and 24 units of three bedrooms. Also,19 contractors are handling the projects, while about 1,454 skilled and unskilled workers are engaged at the site in addition to 80 sundry building materials suppliers and 112 food vendors are busy at the site daily.
A statement signed by the Assistant Director, Information (Housing), Mrs Eno Olotu, said that the minister has equally appealed to contractors and others engaging in the various building projects to cooperate with the government to address the “teething problems often associated with initial projects of this magnitude,” promising that whatever obstacle they encounter would be resolved as the works on site progress. He assured the contractors that government is committed to addressing whatever complaints they have at the moment especially on the issue of delayed payments and the supply of building materials needed to sustain the project.
One of the contractors, Mr Martins Nnodu, who spoke on behalf of others, praise the government for implementing the housing programme and added that it has addressed unemployment and poverty problem in the country. Th e contractors, however, appealed to the federal government to compel relevant authorities to facilitate prompt payment of contractors and resolve issues bothering on specifi cations of the building materials, explaining that it is slowing down the pace of work. Zonal Co-ordinator of the Programme for the North -West in the Ministry, Arc Mohammed Dadi, while briefi ng the Minister said, Kastina was a pace setter in the programme noting that contractors have shown commitment to meet up with the timelines for completion of the projects