I’ve delivered on the Change I promised Nigerians, says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday while presenting keys to some new homeowners at the Feder­al Housing Authority (FHA), Zuba, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), said he has delivered on the change he promised Nigerians.

“I convey my hearty congratula­tions to the new homeowners in this estate. Our promise of change has been fulfilled for you,” the president said in his speech at the inauguration of the estate, which covers a total of 18.5 hectares of land, consisting of 748 units of various house types in 75 blocks, reports Daily Independent.

The president charged residents of the estate to consciously work together with the FHA to ensure the mainte­nance of the property and safety of the environment.

Commending the Chairman/ Managing Director, members of the board and staff of FHA on the successful completion of the estate, the president noted that the project was another testament of his administration’s commitment to lift people out of poverty.

“Housing supply is one of the indices of multi-dimensional poverty that challenges our people and the completion of this estate provides a solution for the bene­ficiaries.

“The new home owners who benefit from this estate have taken a step up on the ladder of prosperi­ty and away from poverty,” he said.

President Buhari, who ac­knowledged that more Nigerians are waiting to benefit from the mass housing project, urged the management of FHA not to re­lent in delivering other projects at various stages of construction and development across the states.

“One of the measures that we have consciously deployed to attack poverty, create prosperity and develop our economy is the aggressive provision of infrastruc­ture nationwide,” he said, noting that such investments also lead to creating employment opportuni­ties for artisans and other skilled members of the society.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the completion of the project was a product of team work and leadership by the president, who gave approval for appointments into the leadership of FHA board and management.

“Instead of abandoned proj­ects, we now have 748 completed housing units for Nigerians and their families to shelter,” he said, adding that 75 contractors were engaged in the course of the proj­ect, while over 13,000 Nigerians were employed both directly and indirectly.

Fashola told the president that the five beneficiaries who received keys to their flats, including Tina Orkpe, Salisu Iliyasu, Ado Maude, Rabina Abdulkadir and Flight Sgt. Musa Mohammed, subscribed through FHA Rent-to-Own deliv­ery model.

“Although many of the bene­ficiaries of this project will never meet the president personally, your policies and programmes have met them personally at the point of their needs,’’ he said.

In his remarks, Chairman, Board of Directors, FHA, Sena­tor Shuaibu Lawal, thanked the president for providing the grant of N7.5 billion for the project to commence in May 2018.

“Without that grant, which served as the seed money, this project would not have been pos­sible. Mr. President, you take all the credit for what we are seeing here today,’’ he said.

Lawal, who noted that the es­tate is ideal for Nigerians who can­not afford houses in areas such as Maitama and Asokoro in the FCT, lauded the Minister of Works and Housing, FCT Minister, Moham­med Bello, for their passionate commitment to the project.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Office of FHA, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, described the commissioning of the project as a manifestation of the visionary and deliberate housing policy of the president, who in keeping with the promise of providing shelter to Nigerians approved the grant to FHA.

He said the authority delivered the project at a total cost of N9.5 billion with the subvention of N7.5 billion from the Federal Govern­ment.

He explained that the balance of N2 billion of construction cost came from the authority’s other projects which was ploughed into to complete the estate.

Ashafa disclosed that the au­thority has also commenced the development of Bwari Estate, Abuja, near the Nigeria Law School, which will deliver 336 units of various houses under the first phase of the project.

He added the proposed Dias­pora City initiative, which targets Nigerians in the Diaspora, is in progress, with intention of ex­tending the programme to all the regions of the country, with Abuja as the pilot scheme.

We’ve Upgraded Our Military Into Force Of Global Reckoning — Buhari

Meanwhile, President Mu­hammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja said the repositioning of the military, through training, net­working and equipping, will turn it into a force of global reckoning, while urging officers to keep giv­ing their best to the nation.

Speaking at the commis­sioning of a nationwide Secure Defence Headquarters Commu­nications Network, GIWA 2 Proj­ect, Phase One, President Buhari assured that the government will sustain its role in meeting the de­mands of the Armed Forces by evolving necessary initiatives to enhance their position.

“As the Armed Forces of Nige­ria continue to reposition to pro­vide the enabling environment for enhancing the security and well-being of the citizens, I implore all our troops to give their best in the service of the nation,” he said.

The president said the GIWA 2 Project would provide real-time secure means of communication and incident reporting, as well as information exchange between the Armed Forces and other se­curity agencies.

“It also stands to enhance col­laboration between our defence, intelligence and security commu­nity while providing the platform for the denial of freedom of action to all perpetrators of insecurity across Nigeria,’’ he stated.

Buhari noted that the project initiative was in alignment with some of the main focus areas of the Federal Government in secu­rity, economic progress and tech­nological development.

“These benefits of the GIWA 2 Project informed the timely sup­port of the Federal Government, through the Central Bank of Ni­geria, to ensure that the centre is commissioned as one of the proud landmarks and enduring achieve­ments of the Armed Forces of Ni­geria under this administration,” the president further said.

Buhari directed the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to collaborate and sup­port the Defence Headquarters in the project, which could impact on rural telephony.

“To this end, the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is to support the Defence Headquarters in ensuring that the infrastructure available for rural telephony are fully deployed for the attainment of GIWA 2 Project deliverables. The Federal Govern­ment shall support the full actu­alisation of the other phases of GIWA 2 Project,” he added.

President Buhari extolled the Armed Forces for their patriotism, loyalty, sense of duty and gallantry.

“Nigeria is blessed with profes­sional and vibrant Armed Forces, which have continually displayed the unflinching capacity to protect the territorial integrity of our country.

“Our Armed Forces have con­tinually demonstrated resolve to provide a safe, secure and enabling environment to promote national security,” the president noted.

Buhari said his government had made significant strides to en­hance the capacity and capability of the Armed Forces to tackle the multiple security challenges.

The president listed some of the efforts including the estab­lishment of Joint Task Forces and the creation of several new military formations to facilitate the conduct of decisive operations against all threats.

“Other efforts to reposition the Armed Forces of Nigeria include acquisition of new armaments and technology platforms to en­hance the conduct of military operations and massive infra­structural development to pro­vide our personnel with befitting accommodation as well as formu­lation of policies and initiatives to improve the welfare of troops and their families,” he further stated.

President Buhari commended the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, other service chiefs and stakeholders for the concep­tualisation and remarkable work in the establishment of the GIWA 2 Project.

“I urge the Chief of Defence Staff, service chiefs and all per­sonnel to work assiduously to­wards enhancing our national security. I am confident that, to­gether we can pave the path for creation of new opportunities to usher Nigeria into a bright future driven by a safe and prosperous environment,” he said.

In his welcome address, Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Ira­bor, stated that the commission­ing of the GIWA 2 Project was the culmination of President Buhari’s directives in 2021 that the Defence Headquarters must ensure that farmers displaced by insurgency went back to their farms, noting that the project would ensure a secure communication for the military in carrying out its re­sponsibilities.

General Irabor extolled the president’s sterling leadership that had enabled the Nigerian Armed Forces to accomplish so much in the nation’s fight against insurgen­cy and other criminalities across the country.




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