Housing, Staff Welfare Our Top Priority – Ogunbiyi

Permanent Secretary, Housing and Urban Development, Dr Marcus Ogunbiyi on site visit
Permanent Secretary, Housing and Urban Development, Dr Marcus Ogunbiyi on site visit

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Marcus Ogunbiyi, has stated that provision of housing accommodation for staff is a top welfare priority of his Ministry.

Dr Ogunbiyi said this during a site visit to some of the housing projects of the Ministry located at Dikko, Suleja in Niger state and Karsana, Abuja, Friday, April 5th, 2024.

He explained that, the Ministry specially developed and built the Prototype Housing Scheme in Dikko, Suleja at affordable prices for the staff of the ministry.

“The Dikko prototype housing has a total of 232 housing units comprising of 3-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and 1-bedroom semi-detached units, and was co-funded by the Federal Mortgage Bank (FMBN) and the Ministry, while that of Karsana comprises of 4 blocks of 4-1 bedroom flats, 4-3 bedroom flats and 16-2 bedroom flats,” he stated.

Dr Ogunbiyi noted and re emphasised that the welfare of the Ministry’s staff was a top priority, acknowledging that it was only right for an accommodation in form of a housing estate to be provided for the staff.

On the situation of the housing units at Dikko Suleja, he noted that a lot of work has gone into the project even though more needs to be done in the area of basic facilities such as schools and clinic to make the estate more habitable.

“some of these things are not to be shouldered by the government, we would have a meeting with the directors to decide on what to do but for now a land needs to be provided for a private sector man to start an elementary and secondary school, and for the clinic we can put up a building, make a preferred design and invite a private sector to run it”, he explained.

Accordingly, he stated that the processes of awarding the contracts to build schools and heath centre within the estate could take about six weeks, assuring that himself and the Honourable Ministers would provide the support and enabling environment for the departments to do the work on ground in few months time.

As part of efforts to ensure the security of the staff already occupying the estate, the Permanent Secretary gave the assurance that the services of facility managers would be retained for the next one year as he expressed optimism that the remaining units would be occupied before the end of next year.

Likewise for the housing units at the Karsana area, the Permanent Secretary stressed on the need to complete the units in no distant time, make them habitable and allocate them to people, pointing out that the aim of providing accommodation would only be achieved when people start living in the houses.

“We have already done the rescoping arrangements, it’s just for us to instruct the contractors to finish the rescoping based on the contract that has been awarded, then we would re-award the remaining work to the same contractor to finish up”, he added.

Badamasi Salisu Haiba
Director Information and Public Relations