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8096 housing units built by FG in 2012, says Ama Pepple

By The Rainbow
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The Federal Government built 8069 housing units in 2012 as part of its efforts to solve the housing problem in the country, the Housing and Urban Planning Minister, Ama Pepple, said on Tuesday.

Pepple said that the  government would on Thursday unveil the National Building Code in Abuja, as part of its measures to curb the increasing collapse of building.

She spoke  while briefing the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on the activities of her ministry in the last two years.

The minister said 256 of the houses  were prototype, while another 626 units were built through Public Private Partnership (PPP) contractual agreements.

She also said that 850 units were built by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), 3529 through mortgages and another 2800 units through Estate developers.

According to her, the housing ministry entered into an agreement with all the providers of the housing units to set aside 20 per cent for low income earners with a view to providing affordable houses. S

Pepple disclosed that the ministry had commenced an arrangement with local market men and women through cooperative housing finance.

According to her, traders would be asked to contribute N10,000 monthly and a yearly contribution of N120,000 in order to have access to a two-bedroom flat, which she said would cost about N2.5 million.

On the issue of collapsed buildings in the country, the minister blamed on the existence of quacks in the industry and unprofessional conduct of some building engineers who she said cut corners for personal gains rather than comply with relevant laws or code. She regretted that people who were not qualified to engage in construction were sometimes allowed to do, adding that she had already reported the issue to various professional bodies in the building industry.

Ms Pepple said the construction of Zik Mausoleum and library in Onitsha, Anambra state was abandoned for over 16 years, but that in October last year the Federal Executive Council approve the sum of N1.4 billion for the completion of the projects.

According to her, the project would be completed and ready next year for the Nigerian centenary anniversary.

Ms Pepple said the ministry had so far generated internal revenue of N1.8 billion from issuance of Certificate of Occupancy, CofO just as it was aiming at ensuring that about 60 per cent of Nigerians live in urban cities by 2015.

On the rift between the ministry and the Cross River State Government over the construction of some estates in the state by the Federal Government through public, private partnership arrangement, Ms Pepple said she would wade into the rift as soon as she received the letter written by the state.

Earlier, the National Chairman of the PDP, Bamanga Tukur, said the focus of the administrations formed by the party in the last 11 years was to provide housing for all Nigerians.