Wike Rejects ₦85bn Wasa Housing Contract That Masses Can't Afford (Video)
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has expressed dissatisfaction with the N85 billion contract for the provision of infrastructure for the Wasa Affordable Housing project in Wasa District, Abuja.
Mr Wike expressed his displeasure when he led the Minister of State for FCT, Mariya Mahmoud, and other government officials to the road construction site for the housing estate on Monday.
Earlier, Olusegun Olusan, acting coordinator of the Satellite Town Development Department, explained that the contract for the infrastructure provision was awarded in 2014 at N26 billion but revised to N85 billion in 2018.
Mr Olusade told the minister that N21 billion had been paid to the contractor, with a balance of N64 billion, adding that the percentage of work done so far is 21.4 per cent.
On the housing scheme, the coordinator explained that the government’s role was to provide the land and infrastructure, while private developers would build houses and sell to the masses at affordable rates.
He added that at the project’s conception, a two-bedroom flat was to be sold to the masses at N7 million.
However, the minister was not impressed with the FCT’s arrangement, stressing that the government should not spend N85 billion to provide infrastructure land and benefit nothing.
“We are not impressed with the arrangement made by the FCT. The government cannot just cough out N85 billion in providing infrastructure and then give land out to private developers who will build and sell.
“This kind of arrangement is not commendable at all, at all. We think that the government must also participate, having provided the land and infrastructure.
“If we are partnering with private individuals or developers, the common sense is that you provide the land, provide infrastructure, and they come and develop.
“Then government, for example, can take 10 per cent then the developers take 90 per cent, depending on the value. The rate is equally not affordable for the masses. ” he said.
He said the project would be revisited for proper planning so that the government would benefit from it and ensure the masses could afford it.
On the project delay, which was nine years and counting, the minister said that FCT would not award contracts for awarding sake.
Earlier, the minister visited the ongoing road construction leading to the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission and the body of benchers building.
The minister said that the contractor was invited for a meeting on Tuesday to work out ways to complete the road project.