The Federal Government on Thursday restated commitment to address the housing deficit through the cooperative societies that have lands across the country.
Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing said this when the Coalition of South-South Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture visited him in Abuja.
Fashola said the Federal Government alone cannot solve housing deficit noting that it was going to be a collaborative effort.
According to him, if the ministry does not get land, it cannot build in the states, so we must wait till the state is ready.
“So, one of the things we want to do in housing is to work with cooperatives in each state, as a chamber of commerce you can help us, we want cooperatives that have land of their own already that are registered with trusties.
“If you have those kinds of cooperatives help us to enumerate them state by state, where their land is and copy of their title deeds.
“What we plan to do is help them get access to their own housing development loan, they will build at their own pace but we will help them with infrastructure, we will add value to their land by providing infrastructure.
“Every time government invests in infrastructure it enhances the value of land. So their assets become more valuable which is bailout from poverty,’’ Fashola said.
He said he looked forward to this area of cooperation from the coalition, adding that this would be in collaboration with the Mortgage Banks that would fund the process for the cooperative societies.
On roads construction, Fashola called on the coalition to work with the State Controller of Works, saying that maintenance of those roads is their responsibilities with FERMA.
“Our responsibility is limited to federal highways, state governments have a responsibility for their internal road networks linking to the federal highways.
“Let me inform you that the East/West road is not under this ministry, the ministry of works is not responsible for the East/West road, it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Niger Delta and its parastatal, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“So it is not our road but we have collaborations and it is also important to tell members of the public how much of the road has been completed,’’ Fashola said.
Earlier, the President of the coalition, Chief Emma Avworo, said the coalition came to congratulate the minister on his reappointment by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He appealed to him to set agenda for the infrastructural development of the South-South States.
Avworo said if this was done it would not only boost the industrial growth of the region but also of the nation as growth in one region would affect the other regions in terms of job creation and economic impact.
While enumerating the roads that needed maintenance and construction the president of the coalition said another area that needed attention in the region is housing.