The 10,000 housing scheme rolled out by the Federal Government for Nigerians in the low-income bracket has received a boost from the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. The interventionist agency organized a stakeholders’ meeting at the Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt on Wednesday to galvanize the people of the Niger Delta to take advantage of the pilot project.
Addressing the participants at the meeting, the NDDC Executive Director Projects, Engr. Tuoyo Omatsuli, said that the commission would give all the necessary support to ensure that all Niger Delta states benefited from the pilot phase of the housing scheme. “The commission wants to move away from the past where initiatives of this nature had eluded the states of the region. NDDC has, therefore, keyed into this initiative to drive the process which would lead to the building of 500 houses in each of the states,” he said.
Engr. Omatsuli said that the NDDC was ready to collaborate with other stakeholders in the housing sector to reap the full benefits of the scheme in the next one year, noting that its multiplier effects included the creation of mass employment in the construction and building industries, as well as increased employment in other related industries. He said that the commission was prepared to train the youths who would be engaged at the various stages of the construction process, adding that it would also liaise with the various state governments to secure land for the project.
The NDDC Executive Director stated that the housing scheme would be funded by the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), which was launched by President Goodluck Jonathan on January 16 this year. “NMRC’s wants to ensure that ordinary Nigerians own houses at costs that are within their income bracket through a well-articulated mortgage of up to 20 years,” he said.
In his own contribution, the National Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE), Engr. Saliu Lawal, expressed confidence that the housing scheme would be implemented successfully and assured that his members would participate fully. “This project will certainly empower our youths because the builders will to a very large extent utilize materials that are produced in this country. That is an indirect way of creating employment,” he said.
Engr. Lawal applauded the promise of the NDDC to provide vocational training for youths to equip them to become proficient artisans that would be employed in building the houses and be available for other projects thereafter.