The Hon Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has stated that over N4 billion has been approved for additional payment to housing contractors across the country in demonstration of government’s commitment to its National Housing Programme initiative.
The minister stated this while fielding questions from journalists on Thursday at the close of his visit to the site of the Imo State National Housing Project as part of his inspection tour of ongoing federal government Works, Power, and Housing projects in the southeast.
“We have approved, I think four point something billion, for further payments for contractors under the housing scheme.
“Each contractor will get his own verified portion across the states for the works that have been certified,” Fashola said, adding “But what I would like to say is that they should keep doing the work; we will pay all of them.”
In the course of the inspection, the minister, who frowned at the cement bricks being used to build the central ‘suckaway’ at the project site, directed that the blocks be removed and replaced with the concrete walls in line with best practices, urging that standard materials, though local, are to be used to ensure that the buildings are safe enough for habitation when they are completed.
Some of the contractors, who commended the government for improvement in payment, however called for more effort in that regard to enable them finish on schedule.
One of them, who identified himself as Odi-Ok, and who alleged that prices of materials have gone so high from where they were when the contracts were signed, wants government to look into ways of encouraging the contractors so that they can prosecute their projects to logical conclusion in good time.
As for indigenous owners of the land, who came with placards to the site, protesting that they have not been allocated new plots of land as agreed, Fashola said, “Compensation and allocation of land are part of the project, and will be addressed as soon as possible.”
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