By Usiere Akpan
The Akwa Ibom government has set about N5 billion to initiate the construction of low-cost housing estates for civil servants in the state.
Gov Udom Emmanuel made the announcement during a meeting with a delegation of foreign investors from the British African Business Alliance Limited and the PJ-IC International, which took place at Government House, Uyo, Sunday.
The governor said that the design of the housing was to float 675 units of medium density housing, indicating the readiness of his administration to partner willing companies for speedy delivery of the housing scheme.
He explained that based on previous unsuccessful experiences, his administration would set modalities to partners in the housing programme for the realization of affordable medium density housing scheme for civil servants, explaining that the imperative of keeping the cost within affordable limits of civil servants was to ensure that prices are not above the financial capacity of target beneficiaries at the completion stage.
Emmanuel mentioned that the purpose of similar housing social contract for civil servants have suffered repeated defeats due to end cost above the mortgage range of 10-15 years, remarking that the houses usually end up being acquired by businessmen who turn round to lease at cost that swallow up all earnings of civil servants.
Emmanuel assured that his administration would continue to woo multinationals to explore the vast Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) opportunities and relative ventures of farming on processing lines and farm produce off takers, adding that the meeting was to follow up interaction with investors during the London Summit investment windows in areas of human capacity development, real estate and power generation, gas accessories production and agricultural processing lines.
The chief executive officer of the British African Business Alliance Limited, David Smith, said the visit was to discuss on the harnessing of gas deposits in the state to generate electricity, explaining that the venture would draw value chain service in human capacity building through vocational education and provision of low-cost housing to the state.
Smith announced that there are plans for the shipping of an already-made gas plant to the state, remarking that the existing investment-friendly atmosphere would attract other partners in waste recycling and power generation to invest in the state.
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