The Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Alhaji Mustapha Shehuri has directed that only local materials be utilised under the National Housing Programme (NHP) and that youths in the host communities be employed as artisans.
Shehuri gave the directive on Wednesday during the official handing over of land to contractors for a housing project in Mbaisi Government Layout in Obingwa Local Government Area, Abia.
“The essence of the programme is to bring development and create jobs for Nigerians.
“All materials needed for the construction must be Nigerian content and all residents must benefit from it.
“No contractor should use foreign materials, rather should rely on local materials for housing construction.”
The minister is in Abia on an inspection tour of National Housing Project sites in the South-East zone.
Shehuri said that three major contractors had been mobilised for the housing project in the state, adding that work would begin immediately after the release of the soil test result.
He, however, conveyed the Federal Government’s appreciation to the state government for providing the land for the project.
The Team Leader, Abia NHP, Mr Adebola Ladeinde, noted that the project was earlier faced with few technical hitches, including layout plan and soil test.
According to him, the project is of three condominiums, each comprising 24 flats.
He also noted that some of the flats were being designed to suit persons living with disabilities.
Also, Mr Author Abara, Director, Architectural Services of the ministry, thanked the state government for providing four hectares for the project.
Earlier, the minister had paid a courtesy call on His Royal Highness, Eze Young Nwangwa, Eze Oko 1 of Mbaisi.
Nwangwa expressed delight at the minister’s visit, noting that the project site needed to be inspected to put things in order.
“This is the first time the Federal Government has visited in respect to projects under ministerial appointment; we have contributed to local, state and the Federal Governments before.
“The low cost housing established by Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as the Head of State in those days was done on our land but we didn’t have any person at the political corridor to speak on our behalf, so we didn’t reap its benefit.
“The site is an eyesore now. The place is called low cost housing Ogbor hill whereas it is supposed to be called low cost housing Ehere, where it is situated.
The traditional ruler appealed to the minister to ascertain the facts from the existing records and right the wrong.
He also appealed to the government to ensure that youths in the the community benefit from the project.