Ohaji-Egbema - The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Stephen Oru, on Tuesday commended President Goodluck Jonathan for his administration's efforts to revamp and reinvigorate the Niger Delta region.
Oru made the commendation at the commissioning of the 40 housing units project at Umuagwo, Imo state, which was fully funded by the Federal Government, saying that the project was designed to improve the well-being of indigenes of the region.
Oru stressed that the housing unit consisted of 20 three-bedroom and 20 two-bedroom apartments.
He said that the ministry would ensure that widows and widowers, the aged and children were given
priority during the allocation process.
Oru also said that the ministry would ensure that disabled persons, married youths and members of neighbouring community were not left out in the sharing formula which the Ministry had proposed to various communities.
The minister said that because of the sensitive nature of the houses, modalities for allocation would differ, adding that the ministry was trying to sensitise the people and get a system in place where the sharing would be done equitably.
"The ministry will ensure that there is no conflict during the allocation of the houses to people in the community.
"The accommodation is short of the demand and no matter how many you build, people will still require more.
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"The ministry will work to sensitise people and get a system in place where the sharing is done equitably," he said.
He said that the Federal Government was committed to providing accessible housing units for the citizenry.
Responding, the traditional ruler of the community, His Royal Highness Tony Eze, expressed the gratitude of the people to the Federal Government for the projects and requested for more of such projects in the community.
"We are happy with the suggestions the minister made to consider widows, widowers and physically challenged people in allocation of these houses.
The nine oil producing states - Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo, and Rivers - are beneficiaries of the ministry's housing schemes.
The minister explained that the houses were built to compensate the indigenes whose lands were taken by the Federal Government for oil exploration.
He explained that displaced people who gave up their lands to Cameroon for the sake of peace, would also benefit from the housing scheme.