The Federal Government (FG) approved the allocation of houses for 22 Super Eagles team members who won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1994, BLOGARENA reports.
The team was promised houses in their state of origin by the former military head of state, General Sani Abacha but he did not live to fulfil his promise.
Twenty-eight years after the promise, President Muhammadu Buhari has decided to fulfil the pledge.
President Buhari stated this in Lafia, Nasarawa State, during the commissioning of the completed homes under the administration’s National Housing Programme initiative.
The commissioning was the first in the series of formal commissioning lined up to take place in 34 states of the federation where Phase I of the houses has been completed.
Represented by the Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Mr Muhammed Abdullahi, Buhari described the completion of the housing projects as a fulfilment of the promise of change that was made to the people by his administration.
The president also praised the Nasarawa State Government for providing the land for the project, describing it as one of the developmental possibilities that intergovernmental collaboration can produce.
Accordingly, he said that the provision of the housing estates across the country was informed by the government’s desire to achieve one of its primary objectives which are to improve the human condition.
The president said that the housing projects provided contracts for the Micro, Small and Medium businessmen and women who provided employment for people through the engagement of skilled and unskilled workers thereby unleashing a value chain of economic activities that have made a positive impact on the lives of ordinary Nigerians.
‘These are some of the people our country remains committed to moving towards prosperity and away from poverty and we are already reaching them by providing opportunities for employment for those who were hitherto unemployed,’ he said.
In his address, the Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, who was represented by the state’s Commissioner of Works, Engineer Idris Muhammed Idris, described the construction of the housing estate as a landmark achievement of the Federal Government in its effort to provide affordable and conducive accommodation for Nigerians.
The governor expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for the numerous federal projects undertaken through the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.
In his remarks, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, who was represented by the Director of Public Building and Housing, Architect Solomon Labafilo, stated that as the end of Buhari’s tenure draws near, Nigerians will witness a season of completion when many projects will start to bear fruit.
He explained that 76 housing units under Phase One have been completed in Nasarawa State comprising 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units.
‘In terms of design, this project is the outcome of a national survey conducted by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to find out the type of houses Nigerians desire,’ Fashola said.
He explained that the survey revealed a preference for bungalows in northern Nigeria and flats in southern Nigeria, adding that the survey also showed the need for space which is why the one-bedroom units are 60 – 70 square metres, two-bedroom units 76 – 103 square metres and three-bedroom units have 110 – 137 square metres.
Fashola, who said the housing units are offered to the public through the National Housing Portal at https://nhp.worksandhousing.gov.ng/ to ensure that interested buyers are not inhibited by any artificial obstacle and allocations, are made on the basis of those who apply and pay on a first-come-first-served basis.
The director overseeing the office of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Engineer Chukwunwike Uzo, represented by the Zonal Director, North Central, Engineer Valentine Nwaimo, informed the audience that the Ministry is promoting local content in the building construction in line with Executive Order 3 and 5.
Uzo disclosed that at least 1,200 building contractors had been engaged under Phase I, II and III of the housing programme since 2016 and over 14,500 and 50,140 direct and indirect jobs have been created.
He also said that during this period the Ministry is undertaking the construction of at least 6,000 housing units in 45 sites out of which 2,465 units have been completed in 35 states and the FCT.
Nigeria’s 1994 squad holds one of the best World Cup records so far and with the same show of talent and skill, they went ahead to win the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations.
Almost everyone in that World Cup squad was part of the Super Eagles Tunisia 1994 squad, aside from a couple of them who were dropped for some reason best known to the coaching crew.
Cameroon, Nigeria and Morocco were the only African teams at the 1994 World Cup Finals.