Defence and Security
2,000 hectares of land mapped out for FG’s social housing–Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, says over 2,000 hectares of land with titled documents have been given out by 24 states for Federal Government’s Social Housing programme.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, said the vice president presided over a meeting to review the implantation of the Economic Sustainability Plan implementation (ESP).
The vice president said that 17 States have indicated interest to participate in the Solar Power programme, also an important element of the ongoing implantation of ESP.
He said that an agreement has been reached with one major cement manufacturer in the country to sell at significantly discounted prices as low as N2,600 per bag of cement for the social housing projects.
The vice president said the agreement is an offshoot of a meeting he held with three major cement manufacturers in the country– Dangote Cement, Bua Cement and Lafarge Cement manufacturers.
He said that the focus must be on providing affordable housing for the masses.
“If the Federal Government is going to intervene in housing, most of it should be social housing.
“Everybody else, including the private sector, can build N9.6 million worth of houses, but nobody else will do social housing.
“All over the world, when government intervenes, it is social housing; those who cannot afford housing are the ones we must focus attention on.
“I think that we have enough problems with finding homes for the vast majority of Nigerians who cannot find a home.
“The people who are poorest, who have no houses, are the people we should target because that is what government should do. Let’s focus on this social housing,”
The vice president said that the Federal Government would continue to collaborate with states to ensure that more Nigerians benefit from the Social Housing scheme.
Under the Social Housing Programme, the Federal Government plans to support 1.5 million Nigerians to acquire low-cost houses through mortgage options and also Rent to Own option.
The scheme is expected to also generate 1.8 million jobs and deliver houses to about 1.5 million Nigerian families.
The houses are to be priced around and about N2 million and N4 million each, putting it within the reach of the low-income earners, depending on the number of rooms; there are one, two and three bedrooms options.
Alhaji Ahmad Salihijo, the Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), in a presentation, said the Solar Power Naija team had engagements with the six states who had identified private sector developers.
He said that the team had also selected Akwa Ibom, Ekiti and Kano as pilot states for the state-guaranteed transaction model for the solar power programme.
Salihijo explained that REA is currently tracking transactions worth N55 billion, potentially contributing the first two million connections in Nigeria and providing thousands of jobs.
“For instance, the programme is currently tracking four transactions in the commercial bank upstream channel, contributing 3,500 jobs and 100,000 connections.
“Nine participants have submitted applications for over N4 billion of the N20 billion allocated with three companies close to receiving disbursements.
“Bleu Camel Energy, with a loan amount of N3 billion, is targeting to create 600 jobs; Sunking, another investor with a loan amount of N3 billion, will create 1,500 jobs.
“Auxno Solar, with N300 million loan amount, targets 100 jobs while Emerald Industrial Co. is seeking N3 billion funding to manufacture 100,000 Solar Home Systems and smart meters,” he said.
Mr Femi Adewole, the Managing Director, Family Homes Fund Limited (FHFL) – the implementing agency for the Social Housing scheme, said that 17,584 units across 16 locations are underway.
Adewole further said that under the ESP Social Housing programme, Nigerians would be given at least a 15-year period with a monthly payment at 6 per cent interest rate to pay for each housing unit.
“This will help to improve access to housing for low-income people in the informal sector who, otherwise, will not have an opportunity to access a mortgage,” he stated.
“In addition to the typical two, three, and four-bedroom housing units, the FHFL is considering a Students’ and Young People’s Housing – to address the needs of young people.”
Adewole stated that the delivery of the units will be through SME Delivery Partners – who are being encouraged to register on the Housing Portal.
He said that so far, about 7,333 SME groups and individuals are registered on the online portal as up to 2,000 of these would be involved in current projects.
“We will be drawing from ongoing experience on our project in Yola where the construction of 3,600 homes are ongoing and a partnership between FHFL and the Ministry of Housing is implementing a large-scale youth employment scheme currently employing 1,350 young people.
“The young people are manufacturing interlocking tiles, paving, screeding, among others.
“About 228 Manufacturers of Building Components have expressed interest in supplying inputs, including doors, glazing, paint and roofing sheet.
“We are now engaging with these to secure bulk supply of key materials which in turn will provide opportunity to grow their production capacity,” he said.
He said that sites for early start projects have been identified in all the six geo-political zones in addition to the FCT.
According to him, the sites include those in Ekiti and Ogun in the Southwest, Enugu and Abia in the Southeast, Delta and Edo in the South-South, Yobe and Bauchi in the Northeast, Kaduna and Katsina in the Northwest and Nasarawa and Plateau in the North-central.
He said that sites have also been identified in Abuja, including at Dei Dei, where the vice president recently visited to see the sample designs of the Social Housing homes. (NAN)
Defence and Security
Security: Strengthens Fight Against Sea Crimes With 14 Enhancement Boats
The Federal Government has commissioned enforcement and security facilities for the nation’s maritime industry, including five new patrol and security boats.
The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, who commissioned the project in Lagos State on Monday, said the project was part of the government’s commitment to good governance and institutionalised policies for improved maritime safety and security.
“The commissioning reaffirms our commitment as the project to be commissioned is directly tied to the mission of NIMASA which is to achieve and sustain safe, secure shipping, cleaner oceans and enhanced maritime capacity in line with best global practices towards Nigeria’s economy and development.
“There are five sets of the art enforcement platforms that will ensure strict compliance and adherence that will expand laws governing the operations of the maritime domain.
“These platforms will give NIMASA the much-needed tools required to function as a maritime administration in line with the protocols and conventions of the International Maritime Organization and International Labour Organization to which NIMASA represents Nigeria as its contracting partners,” he said.
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Jamoh, stated that the expansion of its security access would intensify the internal security under waterways, taking into cognizance the recent cases of oil theft.
“While we have our vision set on achieving something great, we spontaneously took cognizance of the damaging impact of piracy, kidnapping of sea bearers, smuggling, illegal oil bunkering, robbery, sea unregulated and unreported fishing has harped on our maritime sector.
“Beyond the stride and overcoming the maritime crime at the Gulf of Guinea, the management of the maritime administration put more attention on ensuring that we maintain steady and straightforward output in building our infrastructure,” he added.
Defence and Security
National Defence College alumni association advocates security for nation’s forests
The Alumni Association of the National Defence College (AANDEC) on Monday in Abuja advocated for concerted efforts to secure the nation’s forests.
The association also advocated for the deployment of technology by the military and other security agencies in tackling insecurity across the country.
AANDEC made the calls at a news conference addressed by its president, retired Air Commodore Darlington Abdullahi, to herald its 12th national security seminar.
The seminar, with the theme: “Application of Technology as Force Multiplier in Enhancing Peace and Security in Nigeria’’ holds in Abuja on Tuesday and Wednesday.
AANDEC organises the seminar annually in collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser and the National Defence College, to address, contemporary national security issues.
Abdullahi said the call for adoption of technology in fighting insecurity became necessary owing to the issue of uncovered spaces and number of forests being used by criminals as hideouts.
He said that AANDEC believed that it was time to consolidate on the successes already achieved by applying some force multipliers, considering the spread of criminal activities.
He added that there was the need to leverage on technology to adequately enhance security operations and put an end to terminologies such as “ungoverned spaces’’ and “unknown gunmen’’.
According to him, there is a limit to which the military can continually increase the physical strength of the security services.
Abdullahi noted that the association’s suggestions would, however, not replace good governance as a means of ensuring that Nigerians are adequately catered for and given a sense of belonging.
He commended the research and development efforts of the armed forces of Nigeria and those of other security agencies.
He suggested that the efforts could be increased through the consideration of private sector participation in the funding and management of the Nigeria Defence Industrial Complex.
He added that the efforts must be developed with a business model supported by state protection and aggressive regional marketing focused on local resources such as in technical education.
“The need to develop or review a Military Technology Development Strategy for the nation, especially the defence industrial base, deserves more attention now to aid self-sufficiency in defence equipment production.
“This can be achieved by developing clusters of interrelated value chains within category-based technological specificities such as the production of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles,’’ he said.
He noted that Brazil adopted the approach to prevent proliferation of research institutes.
He said also that AANDEC chose theme of the seminar to aid the development of a robust national defence industry, it’s funding and administration.
“This is considering all we have gone through in trying to manage or resolve conflicts and dealing with terrorists, insurgents, and cyber criminals, bandits and unknown gunmen,’’ Abdullahi explained.
Defence and Security
Nigeria Is Not Under Any Threat – Defence HQ
The Nigerian Defence Headquarters has said there is no cause for alarm with the presence of some United Nations Peacekeeping Fighting vehicles and equipment recently sighted in Benin, Edo State.
In a statement issued by Acting Director Defence Information, Brigadier General, Tukur Gusau, in Abuja, explained that Nigeria is contributing troops to various United Nations operations, the most recent is United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), Southern Sudan. The Mission is commanded by a Nigerian, Major General Benjamin Olufemi Sawyerr.
General Gusau said It should be noted that the UN doesn’t have its own troops, rather it enters into agreement with troops contributing countries to provide their personnel and equipment for operations in its various missions.
‘Therefore, it is imperative to state emphatically that the military fighting vehicles and equipment painted in UN colour as sighted are being moved through the Warri port for movement to the mission area in Southern Sudan to marry up with our troops who were inducted into UNISFA mission last month.’
‘The Defence Headquarters wishes to react to some social media video clips been circulated arising from the presence of some United Nations Peacekeeping fighting vehicles and equipment sighted recently in Benin, Edo state. This has resulted to insinuations which are inimical to public peace and may even cause panic.’
The Director declared that the Defence Headquarters under the leadership of General Lucky Irabor CFR wish to assure Nigerians that our nation is not under any threat that will warrant the deployment of United Nations troops in our soil.
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