Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo has expressed support to the ongoing Federal Government’s National Housing Programme (NHP) across the country.
Okorocha, represented by Mr Kingsley Uju, his Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, spoke on Wednesday during the inspection of the NHP site in the state by the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Shehuri.
The minister was in Avu, Owerri Local Government Area, as part of a nationwide inspection tour of the sites for NHP projects.
The governor commended the Avu community for sacrificing its ancestral land to make sure development was recorded in the area.
Okorocha promised the land owners that none of them would be denied their statutory rights in the course of the development.
He appealed to the contractors to always carry the people of the area along in their activities to prevent agitations.
Okorocha noted that the state would be laying foundation of another housing project in line with the Federal Government promises of providing houses for a greater percentage of Nigerians.
He called for the cooperation of the citizens toward the realisation of the housing project.
The minister said that the Imo project site was the best out of the sites visited in the country.
Shehuri promised to address issues of payment to contractors squarely, adding that payment would be made as soon as it was due to facilitate timely project completion.
Dr Victor Nwaneri, Chairman, Avu Land Owners of Federal Housing Estate, said it was gratifying that the Federal Government approved the siting of the housing estate in the area.
Nwaneri urged the Federal Government to consider Avu indigenes first in appointments in the ongoing project.
He also appealed for the revival of the dualisation of Avu-Egbema road in the interest of many communities around it.
“All other life changing amenities should be extended to Avu community to propel the community to donate more lands to the government as the need arises.”
The Team Leader, NHP, IMO state, Mr Cosmos Ikejiofor, noted that there was a legal tussle between the ministry and the Federal University of Technology, Owerri.
In his progress report on implementation of the programme in the state, he said that the challenges were yet to be resolved.
He said that Interim Valuation and Payment Certificate (No. 1) has been raised for the contractors that have completed work on the ground floor concrete slab in their projects.
“These have been forwarded to the ministry’s headquarters at Abuja for further necessary action,” he said. (NAN)