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2,000 hectares of land mapped out for FG’s social housing–Osinbajo

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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)

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Defence and Security

DSS Arrests Kaduna Train Hostages’ Negotiator Mamu

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The Department of State Services (DSS) says the Abuja-Kaduna train hostage negotiator, Tukur Mamu, is in its custody.

This is according to a statement released by the DSS spokesman Peter Afunanya on Wednesday following reports that Mamu was arrested in Egypt.

“This is to confirm that Mamu, as a person of interest, was intercepted by Nigeria’s foreign partners at Cairo, Egypt on 6th September 2022 while on his way to Saudi Arabia,” the statement read.

“He has since been returned to the country, today, 7th September 2022, and taken into the Service’s custody.

“The act followed a request by Nigeria’s military, law enforcement, and intelligence community to their foreign partners to bring back Mamu to the country to answer critical questions on ongoing investigations relating to some security matters in parts of the country.

The public may wish to note that the law will appropriately take its course.”

Mamu has made headlines lately for his part in the release of the Kaduna train victims who were abducted on March 28.

But in August, the publisher of Desert Herald Newspaper withdrew as the lead negotiator in securing the release of the remaining train attack victims.

He claimed that his life was under threat by the Nigerian government.

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Defence and Security

Insecurity: Zamfara Restricts Motorcycles, Orders House Search To Flush Out Suspected Terrorists

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Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle
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As part of measures to contain the security challenges in Zamfara, Governor Bello Matawalle has ordered the restriction on motorcycle movement in communities on the outskirt of Gusau from 9 pm till dawn.

The governor gave the directive on Tuesday after an expanded Security Council meeting that lasted for more than eight hours.

In a statewide broadcast after the meeting, Matawalle ordered security operatives to begin a house-to-house search to flush out criminal elements in the 19 emirates of the state as the residents continue to live at the mercy of bandits.

He stated that motorcycle riders who refuse to stop for search and who move after the designated hours should be shot on sight as terrorists and bandits now use a lot of motorcycles.

“This measure is a part of government’s efforts to tackle insecurity in the state, as the government is concerned over the usage of hotels by terrorists and criminals to perpetrate their heinous activities in the state,” the governor said.

The measure, the governor explained, followed reports of the use of motorcycles by bandits and other criminal elements to commit crimes within the state capital and its environs.

He equally ordered hotel operators to scrutinise guests by means of a valid identification before accommodating them.

“Any hotelier found violating the new order will have his hotel shut down and face prosecution according to the law. The state government would not take it lightly with anyone found disturbing the peace and security of the people,” Matawalle said, reiterating the state government’s commitment to protecting the lives and property of the people.

The Council directed security operatives, particularly military and police, to scale up efforts to fight bandits and other criminals in Zamfara.

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Defence and Security

Police beef up Security Network Around Schools, Hospitals

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IGP Usman Alkali Baba
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The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has ordered the deployment of adequate security around schools, hospitals and critical national infrastructures across the country.

Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, who disclosed this in a statement on Sunday said the IGP has also ordered regular patrols, stop and search raids, and show of force by tactical commanders to clamp down on pockets of crime and criminality in some states of the federation.

“The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, has ordered the deployment of water-tight security arrangements to cover all schools, hospitals, health workers, and critical national infrastructures around the country,” the statement added.
“The IGP has equally ordered regular patrols, stop and search, raids, and show of force by tactical commanders to clamp down on pockets of crime and criminality recorded in some states of the federation.”

Baba gave the directive while reviewing the reports he received from various commands and formations on the general security situations across the country.

He tasked strategic police managers at various levels to prioritize the use of intelligence gathering networks while charging officers and men of the force to take the fight against crime to the doorsteps of suspected criminal elements with a view to flushing them from their hideouts.

The IGP also called for the cooperation of members of the public, warning police officers to be civil, professional, and humane in the course of discharging their duties.

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