By Ogenyi Ogenyi,Uyo
Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom has expressed concern over the lack of benefits for Akwa Ibom workers from the National Housing Fund despite their contributions to the Fund over time.
But he has commended the Federal Mortgage Bank, FMB, for partnering the state government in the building of the 250 units Arise City Housing Estate project and promised that his administration would continue to partner the Bank towards addressing the housing deficit in the state
Eno attributed the state government’s intervention to narrow the housing deficit in the state to the establishmnt of the ARISE City estate, low cost housing estate project for Civil Servants in Ibiono Ibom and the Housing Estate for Doctors in Nsit Ibom Local Councils.
“I met a team from the Federal Mortgage Bank led by their Executive Director, so we spoke and I told them I will like Akwa Ibom workers to benefit from the fund and they promised that if we give them land they will finance the project. I like to thank them for keeping to their words. I want to also thank them for promising to finance even the buyers at a single digit interest rate loan.” He said.
The Governor pointed out that siting various housing projects in the outskirts of Uyo was a strategic plan to open up local government areas close to the state capital to decongest traffic in Uyo urban, explaining that as people come to live in those suburbs, population would build up and attract development to those areas.
He paid glowing tributes to the former governor and elder statesman from the area, Obong Victor Attah, whose fight for resource control birthed the 13% derivation revenue the state is currently enjoying.
General Manager of FMB in charge of Southern Nigeria, Mr. Simeon Agada, described Eno’s commitment to the housing project as exemplary, explaining that with provision of land and other support by the state government, the cost of getting a house in the estate would be reduced by 40%.
Agada said the bank would finance the building and provide funding for acquisition of property in the estate with interest as low as 7%, adding that with such government gesture, the bank would be willing to undertake more of such projects in the state.
Over viewing the project, the Commissioner for Housing, Mr Raphael Bassey, said that the project comprised of 100 units of one bedroom expandable terrace bungalows, 78 units of semi-detached expandable bungalows, 72 units of 3 bedroom terrace duplexes, seated on 20 hectares of land, assuring that with the able hands in the Ministry the project would be supervised to ensure compliance with standards and timely completion.