FG Owes Communities N135M Arrears On Compensation

Source: EMMA UCHE - thewillnigeria.com
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ABUJA, Feb 17, (THEWILL) - Minister of Housing and Urban development, Mr. Nduese Essien today told Senators that the Federal Government owes some communities in the country about N135 million in arrears on compensation.

Accordingly, the ministry he said is experiencing some challenges in the completion of the government planned 500 mass housing progammes in all the senatorial districts because of the arrears of unpaid compensation to communities.

The Minister disclosed these while defending his ministry's 2011 budget before the Senate Committee on Housing and Urban Development.

According to him, there were outstanding unpaid arrears of N135 million naira to communities; "a situation that is frustrating the ministry's completion and quick delivery of the houses.

“As determined as we are to complete these houses, we usually meet with challenges of resistance from the communities while we have not even taken off in some states because of these challenges,'' the minister said.

He added that his ministry was making an evaluation of Federal government assets within and outside the country with a view to determine their locations and value such properties.

Essien further explained that his ministry had achieved 70 per cent in the evaluation of the assets in this regard, saying that they have also started putting together a compilation of a list of federal government properties nationwide.

Nonetheless, he expressed regret that the ministry was experiencing problems with the 'carved out lands’ where all the lands were still sharing one Certificate of occupancy.

The committee's Chairman, Sen. Ikechukwu Obiora however advised the minister to ensure that his ministry comes up with a comprehensive report on the challenges facing the ministry with a view to finding a solution and the appropriateness of such allocation and their legality.