Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Thursday disclosed that 1, 094, housing units have been completed under the National Housing Project from the 2019 budget.
Fashola made the disclosure during an oversight visit to the ministry by the Senate Committee on Housing led by its Chairman, Sen. Sam Egwu, on Thursday in Abuja.
The purpose of the visit was for the minister to present a summary of how the 2019 budget allocated to the housing sector was utilised.
The minister said out of the N83.661 Billion budget presented to the Federal Government, only N33.4 billion was released to the ministry.
“The ministry got only 39 per cent financial support from the federal government in the appropriation of 2019 to the housing sector.
“Our two main parastatals are the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) whose responsibility is to grow primary mortgage funding and manage the national housing fund.
“This was created by act of parliament and its purpose is to provide the financial support for the purpose of achieving affordable housing objective of the government.
“We also have the Federal Housing Authority and their intervention requires them to provide housing estates in various parts of the country.
“We have in our own administrative wisdom, created a special project unit which is in the ministry of housing for coordinating projects such as the direct mandate project.
“Also, constituency and zonal intervention projects and sustainable development goals often initiated in parliament and domiciled in ministries including ours.
“Some of the things we have executed under the national housing project is the housing unit; over 1,094 houses have been completed and there are about 3,000 under construction at different stages,” he said.
READ LASTMA to adopt new system of booking traffic offenders
Fashola said this was ongoing in 34 states of the federation and the ministry was working on modalities to dispose them.
According to him, two states, Lagos and Rivers are not building because of land issues.
“The other thing we are doing is maintenance to improve existing value of assets and to create employment for some of the vulnerable people such as brick layers, plumbers and so on.
“So that is going on in some of our federal secretariats.
“There are currently 24 federal secretariats under maintenance; we issued contracts for maintenance and we employed over 5,000 people and we intend to continue this,” he said.
According to the minister, the ministry has inaugurated a cooperative housing policy using the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).
He told the committee that this would enable citizens get low interest loans from FMBN and encouraged Nigerians to build for themselves instead of waiting for government.
Fashola stressed that one major challenge of the ministry was how to get more revenue to fund urgent infrastructural development needs.
He however, said there were schools, hospitals and maternity homes completed in some states and urged state governments to take control of those institutions.
In his response, Egwu expressed satisfaction on the presentation and assured the minister of the committee’s cooperation to execute the projects.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that at the time the budget was passed in 2019, the ministry was Ministry of Power, Works and Housing but had been separated.