Dangiwa Expresess Ministry’s Readiness, Participation in Community Engagement Programme

Dangiwa Expresess Ministry's Readiness, Participation in Community Engagement Programme

Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Arc Ahmed Musa Dangiwa has expressed the readiness of the ministry to participate in the community engagement programme in order to ensure the impact of the policies, projects and programmes of the federal government through the housing sector is felt at the communities.

Dangiwa gave the assurance when he received the team of Senior Special Assistants to the President on Communty Engagement, on a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja.

The Senior Special Assistants to the President on Community Engagement are; Abdullahi Tanko Yakasai, (NW), Abiodun Essiet (NC), Chioma Nweze (SE), Gift Johnbull (SS), Abdulhamid Yahaya (NE) and Moremi Ojudu for South West.

Dangiwa expressed optimism to engage with the team considering how pertinent their mandate is, saying that they provide a bridge between the presidency and the grassroots, as well as between the Ministry and the communities.

While reiterating his appreciation to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for demerging the Ministry from that of works, Dangiwa noted that housing is one sector that increases the GDP of a Nation and creates jobs, in the sense that for every house built, up to 25 jobs is created for the skilled and unskilled labourers.

He also told the team the core functions of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development which is to increase the supply of affordable houses to Nigerians and to ensure that the urban and rural areas are developed in a way that the slums are upgraded, by increasing sanitation, support drainages, security lights, among others.

Similarly, the minister informed the team that the Housing Ministry was included by Mr. President in the supplementary budget of 2023 with 100bn, from which 20bn was integrated into building the Renewed Hope Cities and Estates, while 50bn integrated into slum upgrade and urban renewal.

“We have done ground breaking for Katsina, Kano and Sokoto states in the North West, Yobe and Gombe States in the North East; we are still awaiting the sites in Nassarawa and Benue States for the North Central zone. The others in the South due to time limit we have to now schedule it till after sallah to start precisely from the 24th, we are planning to do the groundbreaking for the south western states in Oyo and Osun States, South East we have Ebonyi and Abia, South South we have Akwa Ibom and Delta States”, he stated.

The Minister also explained that the Renewed Hope Cities are high rise multi storey block of flats and terraces supposed to be in each geo-political zone, aimed at decongesting the city centers to make another city, while for the Renewed Hope Estates he said they are to be done in the remaining 30 states.

“For the Cities we have just taken Kano as one of it, we are planning to do public private partnership in other cities, we have done one here in FCT at Karsana, commissioned by Mr. President to contain over 3112 housing units, and the project is ongoing. We are thinking Lagos through the funding of the FMBN where 1500 units have already been recorded and construction has already started”, he said.

Accordingly, the minister told the team that the Ministry intends to take four states in each geo political zones of the Country and two in the FCT for the Slum Upgrade, pointing out the components of the projects which are basically drainages, roads, street lights, sanitation and schools; according to him, this would be done closely with the National Assembly members who are much closer to their citizens and know their problems better.

Under the National Housing Program, the Minister noted that the previous administration completed 3000 out of 6000 houses in 33 states; He said the houses which are still largely unoccupied were receiving attention from the Ministry, and renovation ongoing for some of the dilapidated ones. He said the Ministry is currently working with the controllers of housing in the states where the projects are located, and has also given out forms to sell them off to interested buyers through different subscription options such as outright purchase, mortgage, installmental payments or rent-to-own.

Similarly, the minister informed the team about the web portal recently launched by the Ministry in order to enhance subscription for the Renewed Hope Cities and Estates, “ the portal has been launched and people are subscribing into the houses that are being built now in these 13 states plus the ones at the Karsana site, it has been made easier and simpler for people to go into and they are happily doing that” he stated.

He further told the team of SSA’s that the selection of the construction sites was on a first come first serve basis, explaining that a letter was written to all the state governors appealing for 50 hectares of land for the Renewed Hope Estates.

Responding to the request for a desk officer at the Ministry, the Minister directed that they meet through the Permanent Secretary, the Directors of the Public Building and Special Project departments, who are in charge of all the Renewed Hope Cities and Estates as well as the Urban Slum Upgrade, respectively, for any information they need.

Also on their request to attend commissioning of sites and housing units in states alongside the Ministry, Dangiwa said that the groundbreaking for the Renewed Hope Cities and Estates would recommence on the 24th of June immediately after the sallah celebration for the South West, South East and South South states, including Nasarawa State.

“When the time table is drawn, you can get it from the public building department so that the person in charge for those regions can join us”, he assured.

Earlier, the Senior Special Assistant, North West, Abdullahi Tanko Yakasai, informed the Minister about their mandate which is bridging between the presidency and global citizens by way of localizing to ensure that the policies, projects and programmes of the Federal Government get to those at the grassrooot.

While noting that the people at the community level needs awareness to allow for feedback on the successes recorded by the Ministry in terms of provision of affordable houses, the team expressed their interest to collaborate with the Ministry and take the housing programmes to the communities across the six geo-political zones, engaging and informing them of how they can access the housing projects.

They commended the slum upgrade initiative of the Ministry, and assured to engage the slum dwellers and communicate the plans of the Ministry as well as how they can key in and also use their own capacity to support in their own way to develop the slums.

The team requested for a desk officer to work with during the engagements at different communities so as to properly address issues and provide information regarding how people can access the houses.

Badamasi Salisu Haiba
Director Information and Public Relations