Jonathan commissions N2.4b Aviation Village in Abuja

By The Citizen

President Goodluck Jonathan today commissioned the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) Aviation Village, Abuja, a mass housing project of 270 flats worth N2.4b

The President commended the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, and FMBN for initiating and financing the Aviation Village project, adding that he is  glad that the recommendations of the 2011 housing retreat he hosted in Abuja, were being implemented and results were already emerging.

He described the Aviation Village as one of the products of the reforms in the housing sector.

‎ “As for this administration, I assure you all that improving the living standards of Nigerians is an imperative which we are resolutely pursuing.

“The National Policy on Housing adopted by the Federal Executive Council in 2012 was also driving the reforms as housing financing institutions are being strengthened to increase their capacity to be more useful to low income earners.

“The launching of the National Housing Fund (NHF) e-card scheme, was an effective tool for contributors to the NHF to easily assess and monitor their contributions and transactions with the Fund”, he said.

The President said that it was part of his administration’s objectives to promote openness in government business, boost contributors’ confidence, and encourage defaulters to now start complying by making their contributions as at when due.

Minister of Solid Minerals and Supervising Minister of Housing, Lands and Urban Development, Musa Sada, disclosed that the FMBN would soon be recapitalised, and charged the organisation to continue facilitating the construction of more estates around the country.

He further disclosed that ‎a new National Building Code, among other initiatives, was in the offing to encourage quality housing delivery in the country, assuring that despite numerous challenges, providing affordable housing for Nigerians was possible.

Stressing the importance of the NHF e-card, Sada said it was timely and in line with modern technology trends, while affording NHF contributors ease of online transactions with the NHF.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Housing, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, urged the President to reverse the marginalisation of the Northeast, but commended him for the efforts in ensuring security in the region.

He also commended the President for providing the leadership to the housing sector operators and regulators to make initiatives like the Aviation Village possible even as he canvassed for such initiative to be replicated in others states of the federation as part of measures to bridge the housing gap in Nigeria.

President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Abdulwahab Omar, equally thanked Jonathan for efforts made in the housing sector, adding that “we are witnessing true transformation”, especially with serial commissioning of housing units across the country.

While calling for more housing units to be provided for Nigerians said, “Nobody should discourage you when we invite you to come and commission more houses or even for ground-breaking ceremonies at new sites”.

A similar housing project for 80 housing units in Kuje district of Abuja – Unity Estate – initiated by the Lands, Housing and Urban Development ministry was however yet to be completed almost three years after it commenced, while the private contractor, mortgage financier and the ministry trade blames over the delay.