FG Plans N200bn for Housing

Vice President Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo has said that to provide affordable housing to Nigerians the Federal Government will make available N200 billion for the housing industry through the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), while also assuring that government will check quackery in the building and construction industry.

The Vice President stated this Tuesday, in Abuja, at the opening of the 2011 Architects’ Colloquium, with the theme: Architecture and the Nigerian Development Agenda IV-Sustainable Build Environment, organised by the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON).

He said “we have in plan to support the Federal Mortgage Bank with about N200 billion for the provision of Housing to Nigerians. We are attracting cheap funding from our International Development Financial Institutions to support the building industry in Nigeria.”

Arc Sambo lamenting the influx of quacks into the building and construction industry stated that “As an administration, we are determined to enforce the Building Code in order to ensure a reliable and sustainable building industry in the country. To this end therefore, we are going to give all necessary support and logistics to the Building Code Advisory Board to enable them discharge their duties creditably.”

VP Sambo stressing the need to effectively enforce laws designed to police the building environment, tasked the Advisory Board to correct issues of “poor design, quackery and inexperienced professionals, deliberate failure to build according to design and specifications, the use of inferior materials, desire to maximise profit etc.”

He said that the transformation agenda of the administration would provide major economic corridors to transform the socio economic status of Nigerians, noting that the agenda would cut across the power sector, oil and gas with the construction of three new refineries and petrochemical industries to end the importation of petroleum products, the dredging of the River Niger and that of Benue, , the rehabilitation and construction of new rail lines, roads and bridges, provision of irrigation schemes for all year round farming, with contracts awarded for Auyu in Jigawa State, Jada in Adamawa State and Kontagora in Niger State, among several other infrastructural developments.

Arc Sambo while congratulating ARCON for putting the Colloquium together said that the Federal Government identifies with the efforts of the regulatory body at repositioning the building environment saying “we are eagerly waiting to receive the pronouncement that can contribute towards our efforts of transforming Nigeria’s socio-economic position.” He also used the occasion to urge all Architects to support the body in the effective discharge of its duties.

Earlier the Director of the Colloquium, Arc M. J. Faworaja, said the Colloquium was meant to provide an avenue for Architects to rub minds over national development issues. He regretted that Nigeria could only boast of about 4000 registered Architects, when it needs over 20,000.

Similarly, Arc Tunji Bolu, President of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), used the occasion to urge government to bring down the price of other building materials, just as it did that of Cement. He also called for the amendment of the Land Use Act.

The representatives of the Ministers of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and that of the Federal Capital Territory, the Permanent Secretaries of the respective Ministries, Surveyor Emmanuel I Ogbile and Dr. Biodun Nathaniel Olorunfemi, assured of their ministries support to ARCON.

Meanwhile Namadi Sambo in another occasion said that the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) forms an important part of government’s drive for industrialisation, adding that government would ensure that the Smelter Company was repositioned and succeeds to meet the administration’s transformation agenda.

He stated this when he received on courtesy call the Russian Ambassador to Nigeria Mr. Alexander Polyakov and the management of ALSCON, the United Company Rusal (UC Rusal) of Russia.

Arc Sambo, noting that the need for privatisation was based on the believe that private ownership would work against public ownership, observed that “unfortunately many of the privatised companies have not been able to meet the aspirations of government,” he therefore, used the occasion to assure that government was re-strategising the policy to meet its objective of job and wealth creation.

Vice President Sambo observing that lack of adequate power supply was militating against the growth of the economy stated that government was looking at all avenues available to ensure provision of adequate power supply in the country.

Speaking further Vice President Sambo emphasised the commitment of the administration to continue to partner with the international community in its bid to urgently transform Nigeria, noting the long standing relations between the two countries, saying “in this drive it is extremely important that we continue to partner with countries that treasure being our good friends for a very long-time.” He assured the Ambassador that government would treat all the bilateral agreements entered into with his country with the urgency it deserves.

Earlier, the Russian Ambassador to Nigeria, urged the Federal Government to put in force the agreements signed by the two governments during the visit by the Russian President Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev, to Nigeria in 2009. He recalled that the two governments during the visit agreed to raise their bilateral cooperation to real strategic partnership, with the signing of some important agreements among which was the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPA).

Mr. Polyakov also used the occasion to assure that he would continue to promote and push for more cooperation between the two countries, urging government to ensure that ALSCON succeeds in its bid to be a world class smelter company.

Present at the occasion were the Managing Director of ALSCON, Mr. Anatoliy A. Polovov, the Director-General of Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), Ms. Bolanle Onagoruwa and other top government functionaries.

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