From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Federal Government is eyeing additional investments of N3.53 trillion in the housing sector, in what appears to be a move towards closing the shelter deficit gap currently pegged at 17 million.
The gargantuan investments are to be staggered in a four-year span and the government hopes it will ultimately solve the insufficient housing nightmare.
Details of the four-year plan are contained in the National Economic Development Plan of the Federal Government launched in December 2020 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The N3.53 trillion includes an estimated public investment in the development of urban roads estimated to gulp about N1.68 trillion.
These allocations have been listed as priority projects in the sector as well as projects essential to the operations of the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
According to the document, massive housing construction will also significantly boost demand for locally crafted materials to reduce construction costs as well as stimulate job creation, particularly in the construction and manufacturing sectors of the economy.
The document added that between 500,000 and one million houses will be delivered annually within the next four years.
The document also stated that the government will improve linkages between the housing sector and the economy with emphasis on improving urban development across the country
It said, “To achieve the goals outlined in the housing sector, the estimated public investment is N3.53trn from 2021-2025. This includes an estimated public investment in the urban road development of about N1.68trn.
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“These allocations have been made to priority projects in the sector as well as projects essential to the operations of the relevant MDAs.
“Both Federal and state governments will make the construction of affordable housing a priority to bridge any housing deficit, reduce slums and create opportunities for sustainable urban regeneration in Nigeria.”
The document stated that securing the availability of long-term housing financing to facilitate access to homeownership for everyone will ultimately improve social inclusion and allow low-income Nigerians to build wealth.
“The achievement of these goals will be underpinned by an inclusive national housing policy that will fully unlock the socio-economic potential of the housing and urban development sector.
“The operational efficiency of the Federal Mortgage Bank and the Family Homes in collaboration with the Primary Mortgage Banks and the private real estate firms will be a priority,” it added.
Nigeria is battling uncontrolled urbanisation, which puts huge pressure on already overstretched housing infrastructure.
The development has been worsened by insurgency as terrorists take over most villages, forcing dwellers to seek refuge in safer cities.
Nearly 50 per cent of Nigerians currently reside in urban areas, which represents almost 100 million people.
Lack of policy continuity arising from political risk and change of government over the years have stifled government efforts thus, explaining the gap between the availability of affordable housing and the demand due to rising population.
Sammie Okposo confesses to cheating on wife
Gospel artiste, Sammie Okposo, Tuesday confessed to cheating on his wife Ozioma, and tendered a public apology to her as well as his fans.
He revealed in an Instagram post that he was involved in a relationship with another woman during one of his trips to the United States in 2021.
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He wrote, “Dear Friends, I need to bring a very unfortunate incident to your attention; as I am not proud of it but know that this is the right thing to do.
“On my recent trip to the USA (Late 2021), I got intimately involved with a lady; knowing that this was not appropriate as a married man and a minister of the gospel. I am ashamed and regret my actions; as it has caused a lot of pain to my dear wife, Ozioma, my family and I.
“I want to take this moment and apologise to all fathers and mothers of the Faith; and ministers of the Gospel for my behavior and moral failure.
“I won’t be here if not for your investment and belief in what God has called me to do. I sincerely apologize for this embarrassing situation.
“To all that have been a part of my ministry; followed my ministry or know me personally, I am truly sorry for disappointing you.
“I regret any pain or disappointment that this news of my moral failure and poor judgement may cause you and I am truly sorry for disappointing you.
“I humbly ask that you continue to pray for me.”
Interestingly, American-based woman, identified as African Doll, had accused Okposo of impregnating her, barely 24 hours before his confession.
Edo to switch to e-governance February 1 – Obaseki
By Jethro Ibileke
Effective from February 1, 2022, Edo State government will switch over from analogue to e-governance, Governor Godwin Obaseki says on Tuesday.
Obaseki, gave the indication on Tuesday in Benin, at the swearing-in of 14 new permanent secretaries, which held at the Government House.
According to the Governor, switching to e-governance means that memos and mails on papers would be eliminated.
He said: “Effective February 1, 2022, I, the governor, would switch over to e-governance platform, which effectively means I will now approve memos and send mails to you via the e-platform.
“We have introduced the Edo State Civil/Public Service Transformation and Enhancement Programme (EdoSTEP), through which we are pursuing a deliberate programme to identify weak points in the civil service and strengthen them.
“That explains why we have had to bring people from outside to come in to help us strengthen the areas of weaknesses that we have seen in the civil and public service; we will continue to do so because we have seen that the civil service as it is today needs a lot of strengthening.
“So far, we are very glad with the accomplishments that we have made today in the EdoSTEP programme. Under this programme, we have found out that the number of vacancies in the civil service is quite enormous.
“First, we started with the hiring of 1,600 graduates into the service at the bottom level, but they don’t have the experience and skill to take us to where we want. We will now continue hiring from the top and also see how we can train the middle corps that we have in the civil service and give them the tools for effective delivery.”
Addressing the 14 newly-sworn-in permanent secretaries, Obaseki charged them on the delivery of efficient and quality services to Edo people, even as he admonished them not to seek popularity.
He said: “We are working extremely hard to bring back the civil and public service to those days when it was respected. To the new permanent secretaries, I will like to admonish you, you all have been appointed based on merit, not by any godfather.”
“Do not seek popularity; you are not politicians, leave that to us. Ensure you do things the way it ought to be done,” he charged.
Obaseki also warned the appointees to be weary of their conduct in service, noting that government officials are liable and culpable for their activities in service, even after retirement.
In his words, “You are the chief accounting officers of your ministries. The fact that you are in government for a while does not mean that your activities while in government will not be looked at; you have to be very cautious of the decisions you make.
“Most Nigerians don’t know that even after you retire, you are still liable and culpable for your activities during your time in office. I am pleased to inform you that you will be inheriting a vastly improved system of governance; we will continue to work on our systems so that you can deliver effectively to our people.
“We will continue to build human capacity, and train and retrain our civil and public servants. We are equipping and investing in the John Odigie-Oyegun Public Service Academy to make it second to none in this part of the world.”
The newly sworn-in permanent secretaries are: Mr. Anelu Osemen, Mrs. Felicia Edwards, Mrs. Grace Aihie, Mr. Egwakhide Gilbert, Mr. Iserhienrhien Efe and Mr. Aikhuomobhogbe Uidia.
Others are Mr. Asibor Lucky, Mrs. Igbinobaro Joy, Mr. Washington Abbe, Mr. Asemota Uyi, Mr. Toritseju Onaiwu, Mrs. Ifueko Alufokhai, Mr. Osikhena Ojior and Mrs. Barbara Osobajo.
Mr. Anslem Osemen who responded on behalf of the new permanent secretaries, pledged to reciprocate the confidence reposed on them, contributing effectively to the progress and development of the state.
Ondo: Police vow to prosecute man for allegedly killing Lagos-based girlfriend
The Ondo State Police Command has said that it would prosecute one Olasunkami Oluwole for allegedly killing his lover in the Oke-Igbo community in the Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo Local Government Area.
Biola Soyinka, the deceased, reportedly travelled from Lagos to see her boyfriend before she was murdered.
Funmilayo Odunlami, the Police Public Relations Officer of the command, said the matter is being investigated at the command’s Criminal Investigation Department.
According to the PPRO, the suspect would be charged to court immediately after the completion of the investigation.
“The case is still at the state CID for further investigation, and after the investigation is completed, he will be charged in court,” Odunlami said.
Meanwhile, the elder brother to the deceased, Akeem Jinadu, said Oluwole had on January 16 called them in Lagos that Biola had died after he claimed that she became unconscious when she slumped at around 4:00 am .
“Oluwole said by the time he rushed her to the hospital, the doctors declared her dead. When we asked him to bring her corpse back to Lagos, he demanded that we send money for transportation.
“Contrary to what Oluwole said when the police arrested him, there were marks sustained from beating on her body when we went to identify the remains at the morgue.
“Her neck, face, and body had dark patches because she was a fair person,” Jinadu said.
“From the state of her corpse it is very obvious she didn’t die from falling, rather the marks on her body shows she was beaten and strangled to death.”
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