N85b Wasa Housing Project Poorly Negotiated, Not Affordable For The Poor -Wike

By: Wisdom Acka

Minister of the FCT, Nyesom Wike, has said contract for the Wasa Housing project has been poorly negotiated.

Wike frowned at the agreement entered into by officials of the FCT Administration and developers for the development of the affordable housing on Monday, during a tour of some projects.

He bemoaned an arrangement where the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) would provide infrastructure, while the developers build the houses and sell to the masses without any benefit to government.

Wike said it would have been reasonable for government to get 10 percent of proceeds after providing funding, while the developers get 90 percent.

“Government provides land and infrastructure, then the private sector builds and makes money, while government makes nothing. Who does that?

“This arrangement is not acceptable, government can take, say, 10 percent, while the private sector takes 90 percent”, he stated.

The Minister also berated the costs of the units; saying it was actually not affordable for the poor.

His words: “The rate is equally not affordable for the masses. We will look at all these. We will not award contracts for awarding sake.”

Recall that contract for the project was given in 2014 to Gilmor Construction Company at the cost of N28 billion and was reviewed in 2018 to N85 billion.

However, N21 billion has so far been paid and 24.5 percent completion so far attained, after nine years, while the sum of N64 billion is outstanding.

At inception, the affordable housing units were designed one bedroom and two bedrooms, with the two bedrooms estimated to cost N7 million.

In Kabusa community where shanties were pulled down before the visit, Wike expressed satisfaction with the Abuja Environmental Protection Board for cleaning up the area.

Equally, road side markets and slum settlements in the area were also cleared in the early hours of Monday morning before arrival of the Minister.

He sated: “We will not allow shanties to take over Abuja. Development Control Department has done well. We will now protect the place so that miscreants will not return to the place”.