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Obiano offers Land for World Bank-assisted 500 Housing Units Project in Anambra

By James Eze

The Executive Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano has pledged to provide land for the immediate take off of the proposed 500 units of housing being promoted by the federal government in select states of the federation.

Anambra State is a mong the states that have been selected as pilot states to benefit from a special World Bank-funded urban housing scheme which is being handled in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Ministry of Finance and the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company.

The scheme involves the construction of 10,000 housing units across the country to be funded by the World Bank through the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company to the tune of $300m with a retention rate of 40 years. Each of the pilot states will have a maximum of 500 units of housing and each house will carry a 20-year mortgage facility.

In a visit to the Minister of Land, Housing and Urban Development, Honourable Mrs Akon Etim Eyakenyi on Wednesday, Governor Obiano pledged to offer serviced land with title in a matter of weeks to facilitate the immediate take off of the project in Anambra State.

The governor who fielded questions from the press immediately after the visit further explained that housing was a vital enabler to the major policy thrusts of his administration and that he was determined to pursue a vigorous housing policy that would change the landscape of the three leading cities in the state, Onitsha, Awka and Nnewi.

According to him, his administration had set up an ambitious plan that would transform Awka, the state capital into one of the perfectly planned and organized cities in the federation with a special attention to aesthetics and functionality.

'I have inaugurated a special Awka Capital Territory Development Board with a clear mandate to give Ndi Anambra an ultra-modern city with all the functional and aesthetic balance that any city in the 21st Century should have. We are determined to achieve that,' he explained.

Speaking on the feasibility of the take off of the housing scheme in Anambra State, a renowned architect and foremost housing consultant, Arc Ezekiel Nya Etok revealed that going by the governor's enthusiasm, the contractors who are expected to handle the project would be mobilizing to the site in July this year.

'The contractors may move to site in July. The governor has demonstrated a great deal of interest,' he explained and further pointed out that Anambra would most likely be the first state in the federation to benefit from this all important scheme.

Following the countdown to the commemoration of his first 100-Days in Office, Governor Obiano has been upbeat in his quest to seal up every agreement and pact that will stand the state in good stead to experience a momentous growth in infrastructural and socio-economic terms.

On Tuesday this week, the governor had paid a courtesy call on the Federal Minster of the Environment, Honourable Laurentia Mallam, in Abuja, to iron out environmental issues that constitute a source of concern in Anambra State.

To give fillip to the federal government's initiative on the war against soil erosion, governor Obiano had also pledged to provide the N500m counterpart funding to ensure that Anambra State is given a priority attention.