Home News Workers react to NUJ, FCTA housing plan

Workers react to NUJ, FCTA housing plan


ABUJA – Some workers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have reacted to plans by the territory’s administration in conjunction with the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to provide affordable, quality accommodation for workers.
While some of the respondents commended the initiative as a way of ameliorating the high cost of accommodation in Abuja, others advised parties to the agreement to extend such opportunity to workers in the public sector.
According to Mr Samson Isah, an Abuja-based civil servant, the housing initiative was commendable and should be encouraged by well-meaning Nigerians.
He advised government and the labour unions to monitor the project thoroughly to ensure that the contractors delivered on schedule.
He said “the idea is a good one and will assist most average workers in the country to own houses before retirement.
“I will, however, advise both the FCTA and labour to closely monitor the contractor to ensure that the project is not abandoned as we have experienced in the past.’’
Mr Celistine Buba, a construction worker, also commended the initiative and suggested that the initiative should be extended to workers in the private sector..
He said “initiatives like this have been seen in the past, but it is only government workers that benefit.
“Even when they say it is a `workers’ housing scheme’, it should also include workers in the private sector, after all, we are all Nigerian workers.’’
Mrs Yemi Muyiwa, another civil servant in Abuja, advised the NLC to extend the housing scheme to all parts of the country.
She said “the FCTA has done well in earmarking a district for this housing scheme, but I will advise the NLC to also work out similar arrangements with state governments across the country.’’
The FCT Minister, Sen. Bala Muhammad, had on Thursday, signed a joint development agreement for a workers’ housing estate in Abuja with NLC and Good Homes Development Company Limited, a private property developer.
Speaking at the project site in Apo Tafyi Layout in Abuja, Muhammad said the collaboration was part of government’s effort to promote the welfare of workers.
He said that the FCT administration was mandated by President Goodluck Jonathan to give the required support to all stakeholders in the project in the interest of Nigerian workers.
He added that “the President has inspired various individuals and groups within the country to actualise their dreams and this housing project is a way of inspiring workers.
“Workers’ housing scheme is an integral part of government’s effort to ensure that workers are able to own homes after a meritorious service to the nation.’’
The minister said that the FCTA had committed 650 hectres of land to the project and urged the project contractor to deliver on schedule.
Mr Abdulwaheed Omar, the NLC President, said that the project was necessary to workers’ welfare, adding that the collaboration was in the interest of Nigerian workers.
Omar said “Nigerian workers live on fixed income, and it is difficult to execute housing projects with such income.
“The Nigerian labour movement went into this collaboration to lift the burden of owning personal houses from workers.’’
The labour leader advised parties to the agreement to work with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria to ensure that the project did not suffer setbacks.
Sen. Nicholas Ukachukwu, the Chairman of Good Homes Development Company Limited, gave assurance that the company was committed to delivering the houses on schedule. (NAN)

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