Lokoja - The Kogi Government on Thursday said that it would deliver 272 housing units, being constructed for flood victims in the state, to the beneficiaries in the first quarter of 2014.
Stephen Maiyaki, the Commissioner for Lands and Housing, said this while briefing the National Good Governance Tour team in Lokoja.
Maiyaki said that the state government was committed to the speedy completion and handover of the houses to the flood victims, as part of efforts to ameliorate their suffering.
He said that the state government had completed the construction of one-bedroom and two-bedroom housing units, while awarding contract for the provision of basic infrastructure at the estate.
Maiyaki said that although the contractors were working behind schedule, all the infrastructure works at the estate would be completed within the next three months.
“The state government has spent N562 million on the construction of the 272 housing units.”
“The government has also awarded a N621-million contract for the provision of infrastructure at the estate.”
“As you can see, the houses are ready but we have to finish the infrastructure. Hopefully, in the next three months, we will deliver these houses to the beneficiaries,” he said.
The commissioner dismissed speculations in some quarters that the project would be hijacked by politicians to the detriment of the beneficiaries.
He said the state government had conducted a survey on the affected persons, noting that only those that were certified to have lost property during the flood would benefit from the housing programme.
“We conducted a survey and identified 1, 700 houses affected by the flood in Lokoja alone; we have the records and that is what we are going to work with.”
“So, I want to state here that only those whose houses were destroyed in the flood will benefit and it is going to be free of charge,” he said.
In his remark, the Minister of Information, Laraban Maku, commended the state government for the housing programme.
The minister, who was represented by his Special Assistant on Media, Kingsley Osadolor, said that the Federal Government would be happy with the state over its judicious utilisation of the flood relief funds.
He urged the state government to ensure the speedy completion of the housing project so as to give succour to the flood victims.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that National Good Governance Tour team also inspected the progress of work at the 25 000 metric-tonne silo being constructed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
The Project Consultant, Isaac Ogwuche, said that the project was over 90 percent completed.
He said that contract for the project was awarded in 2009 at the cost of N1.5 billion, adding that the silo would be ready for use in the coming harvest season.
He said that the silo, which would serve Kogi, the FCT and neighbouring states, would have modern processing facilities.
Ogwuche said that the major challenge facing the prompt completion of the project had been addressed with the construction of a flood control carnal behind the premises of the silo.