Megan Smith
Mon, Sep 4, 2023 11:50 PM

Nyesom Wike Questions N85 Billion Abandoned Affordable Housing Project

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Nyesom Wike Questions N85 Billion Abandoned Affordable Housing Project
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has raised concerns regarding the N85 billion abandoned affordable housing project in Abuja. Wike questioned the agreement where government-funded infrastructure, but developers reaped all the profits. He suggested a revised agreement of 10 percent proceeds for the government and 90 percent for private sector developers. The project, which was contracted to Gilmor Construction Company, has been delayed for nine years and has only achieved 24.5 percent completion. Wike expressed dissatisfaction with the cost and accessibility of the affordable housing for the masses.

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has questioned the officials of the government over the N85 billion abandoned affordable housing project in Wasa area of Abuja. On Monday, Wike visited the project site along with the Minister of State for FCT, Dr Mariya Mahmoud, and other management staff of FCT Administration to assess the project's progress.

During the visit, Wike expressed his concerns regarding the agreement between the government and the developers. According to Wike, the government provided the infrastructure while the developers built affordable housing units and sold them to the masses without any direct benefit to the government.

Wike argued that it would have been more reasonable for the government to receive 10 percent of the proceeds after providing funding, while the developers should receive 90 percent. He questioned the logic of the current arrangement where the developers make substantial profits while the government does not profit at all.

"Government provides land and infrastructure, then the private sector builds and makes money, while the government makes nothing, who does that?" questioned Wike.

Furthermore, Wike highlighted that the current housing cost is not affordable for the masses, further adding to his concerns. He emphasized the need to reevaluate the arrangement and explore more beneficial options for all parties involved. "We will look at all these. We will not award contracts for awarding sake," stated Wike.

The housing project in question was awarded to Gilmor Construction Company in 2014, with an initial cost of N28 billion. However, the cost was later reviewed in 2018 to N85 billion. The project has experienced significant delays, with only a 24.5 percent completion rate after nine years.

The affordable houses were designed to be one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, with the two-bedroom units costing between N7 million and 8 million. However, the housing project's lack of progress and affordability have raised concerns, prompting Wike's visit and subsequent questioning of the project's viability.

During the visit, Wike also expressed his satisfaction with the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) for their efforts in clearing shanties in Kabusa junction, which were demolished prior to the Minister's visit. This indicates a commitment to improving the overall living conditions and environment in the area.

The Minister's actions highlight the importance of accountability and fair agreements in development projects. By questioning the current arrangement and advocating for a revised agreement that benefits both the government and private sector developers, Wike aims to ensure a more equitable outcome for all parties involved.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-04 News

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