MINISTER of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Nyesom Wike has expressed his displeasure with arrangements made by the previous administration over the N85bn Affordable Housing Project in Wasa.
He disclosed that the agreement between the FCT Administration (FCTA) and the private developers would be reviewed for better negotiations in favour of the government during a visit to the site in Wasa on Monday, September 4.
“We are not impressed with the arrangement made by the FCT. Government will not just cough out N85 billion and the land and we are providing all the infrastructure, then you want to give out to private developers who will now build and sell. We think that government must also participate, having provided the land and having provided the infrastructure.
“This kind of arrangement is not commendable at all. If we are partnering with private individuals or developers, the common sense is that you provide the land and also provide infrastructure and then they come and develop and make profit. Government can say okay we will take 10 percent, then they take 30 percent, depending,” he said.
Wike added that active participation of the government in the project would help with monitoring the pricing of the homes and keeping them within an affordable range as intended.
He also said contracts would only be awarded by the FCT if available funds could see to the completion of projects.
“We are not going to be awarding contracts for awarding sake. We are going to award contracts that we will finish and then embark on new contracts. Contracts in the FCT are something else. As I speak to you, you don’t even have up to 20 percent completion. Every contract abandoned because of no money. We are not going to encourage that. We are going to look at everything,” Wike said.
In 2014, the sum of N28bn was approved for the Mass Housing Estate in Wasa, meant to serve as affordable accommodation for FCT residents, with a completion period of 48 months. The sum was later reviewed to N85bn in 2018.
Wike also visited the yet-to-be-completed access road leading to the Institution and Research District in Jabi, along which some buildings housing government agencies, including the EFCC Corporate Headquarters, Body of Benchers Building and Federal Medical Centre, are located.
The Minister stated that the contractors have been invited to see to the completion of the road.
Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via email@example.com or @ije_le on Twitter.