In line with the completion agenda of the state Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, the first sets of affordable houses for Akwa Ibom workers have been completed and ready for delivery at the various locations of the housing estates.
The housing estates, which are strictly for Akwa Ibom State public servants, are located in Ikot Ntuen Nsit, Nsit Ibom L.G.A. opposite the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital and Ikpedip Ibiono/Itak Ikono, off Uyo-Ikot Ekpene Road. Briefing newsmen after an inspection tour of the project, the Head of Civil Service, Elder Effiong Essien, who is also the Chairman of the Committee on Affordable Houses for Public Servants, said the housing scheme was a further demonstration of the Governor Udom’s genuine concern for the workers. He explained that the Affordable Housing scheme is packaged to enable workers own and live in their own houses while in service. He said that, aside from the initial percentage down payment which would be within the reach of workers, payment for the houses have been negotiated to enable the workers pay with ease.
The Head of Civil Service commended developers and the committee for the significant progress made on the mass housing project, adding that it was fulfilling to see the mass housing for workers become a reality. He assured that the scheme will change the story of workers from tenants to house owners. Elder Essien, who thanked the State Governor for his favourable disposition to workers welfare, called on workers to take advantage of the opportunity to secure a home while in service.
On the level and quality of work done at the two locations of the housing projects, the Head of Civil Service said he was impressed by the progress of work at the Civil Servants Estate handled by APICO but made observations for the improvement on the quality of tiles and opening of internal roads within the estate and the provision of other basic facilities by the developer, MACDUDU RESOURCES LTD. at the FMB/NLC/TDC/NECA Housing Estate, located at Ikot Ntuen Nsit, Nsit Ibom L.G.A opposite UUTH, the Head of Civil Service, Elder Effiong Essien, commended the developer, Scape Designs Associates, and the State Controller of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Ifiok Umoren for the progress of work and the ongoing construction of internal roads, drainage and electricity facility at the estate and called for the fixing of burglary proof and improvement on the quality of tiles.
In their separate remarks, the Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Sunny James, and Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Dominic Abang, thanked the State Government for partnering to provide shelter for the workers. They applauded the State Governor, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, for prioritizing the welfare of workers and the Head of Civil Service for his effort on ensuring that the housing project is actualize and for assuring that the houses would be allocated to only Public Servants as originally intended. The NLC and TUC leaders pledged their continued co-operation and support towards the actualisation of the completion agenda of the present government.
At the FMBN/NLC/TUC/NECA Estate, 60 housing units comprising of 9 units of 1 bedroom flats, 24 units of 2 bedroom flats and 32 units of 3 bedroom flats giving a total of 69 units are ready, while 50 units, comprising of 1 bedrooms, 2 bedrooms and 3 bedrooms flats are also ready for habitation at the Civil Servants Estate at Ikpedip/Ibiono Itak Ikono. At the end of the exercise, a committee to work out modalities for the publicity, and scheduling of prospective off- takers, which must be Akwa Ibom Public Servants, and other related duties was setup by the Head of Civil Service. The committee has the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mr. Eme-ette Imuk as Chaiman while Mrs. Inyene Effiong the secretary, AKs Staff Housing scheme is to serve as the secretary. Other members are the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Manpower Planning, Dr. Mrs. Valerie Obot, NLC Chairman, Comrade, Sunny James, TUC Chairman, Comrade Dominic Abang. Others are Director of Lands, Ministry of Lands, Mr Udeme Isa, and Mr. Udoyen A. Okon.
In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Head of Civil Service, Dr. Mrs. Comfort Archibong, appreciated the Head of Civil Service, for his enthusiastic spirit towards the progress of the mass housing scheme for workers. She commended the effort of the committee, the developers and other stake holders on making the scheme a reality, adding that the scheme, when fully implemented will rescue workers from the financial burden and harassment by some landlords. The Head of Civil Service was accompanied on the project tour by members of the committee.