Wike frowns at N85bn Wasa housing infrastructure, says project poorly negotiated.

Mr. Nyesom Wike, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has voiced unhappiness with the N85 billion contract for the supply of infrastructure for the Wasa Affordable Housing project in Abuja’s Wasa District.

On Monday, Wike and the Minister of State for the FCT, Dr. Mariya Mahmoud, together with other government officials, visited the housing estate road building site.

Previously, Mr. Olusegun Olusan, acting Coordinator, Satellite Town Development Department, said that the contract for infrastructure supply was given in 2014 for N26 billion but was increased to N85 billion in 2018.

Olusan informed the minister that a total of N21 billion had been paid to the contractor, with a balance of N64 billion, and that the percentage of work completed thus far is 21.4 percent.

The coordinator said that the government’s role in the housing programme was to supply the land and infrastructure, while private developers would build dwellings and sell them to the public at inexpensive prices.

He went on to say that when the idea was first conceived, a two-bedroom flat was to be sold to the public for N7 million.
However, the minister was unimpressed with the FCT’s agreement, stating that the government should not pay N85 billion to deliver infrastructure and land for free.

“We are not impressed with the FCT’s arrangement.” The government cannot just spend N85 billion on infrastructure and then hand over land to private developers to build and sell.This type of setup is just unacceptable. We believe that the government should contribute as well, having supplied the land and infrastructure.

“If we partner with private individuals or developers, common sense dictates that you provide the land and infrastructure, and they come and develop.”

The government, for example, can take 10%, and the developers can take 90%, depending on the value,” he explained.
Wike stated that the government would be allowed to choose the price at which the houses would be sold to the public under such arrangements, claiming that the masses could not pay N7 million for a house.

He stated that the project will be reassessed for appropriate planning so that the government would gain from it and the masses for whom the houses were being built would be able to purchase them.
Concerning the project’s nine-year delay, the minister stated that FCT will not give contracts simply for the sake of issuing them.

“We will award contracts that we know we will complete before embarking on another contract.” “Every contract is abandoned due to a lack of funds.” So, we’ll look at everything,” the minister added.

Earlier, the minister went to see the continuing road work leading to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission offices and the Body of Benchers building.

According to the minister, the contractor has been asked to a meeting on Tuesday to discuss measures to complete the road project.
“We’ve also been to Kabusa Junction in Abuja, where development control destroyed shanties.” As previously said, we cannot allow shanties to take over the FCT.

“The development control has done well by making sure that the shanties in the area are destroyed, and we are going to protect the area to ensure that the miscreants do not return to mess up the place again,” Wike added.

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