President Muhammadu Buhari claimed on Tuesday that his administration had provided affordable housing, and was tackling multidimensional poverty among Nigerians. The president made this assertion while inaugurating a new housing estate in Zuba, Abuja. Buhari handed over keys to the new homeowners at the Federal Housing Authority, Zuba, saying that the estate was a fulfilment of the change he promised Nigerians.
The estate, which is located on 18.5 hectares of land, consists of 16 blocks of three-bedroom flats, 32 blocks of two-bedroom flats, 14 blocks of one-bedroom flats and five blocks of terrace duplexes in four rows. The President further pointed out that investments in housing create employment opportunities for artisans and other skilled members of society.
Meanwhile, opposition parties, including the Peoples Democratic Party, Labour Party and Social Democratic Party, dismissed the President’s claims, insisting that he had failed woefully. The PDP National Secretary, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, questioned Buhari’s performance in fighting insecurity and corruption, and reviving the economy.
Yunusa Tanko, Chief Spokesman for the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, described the President’s statement as self-gratifying and a display of mediocrity and ineptitude. Tanko noted that many people still lived under bridges, and that there were IDP camps with people that had not been resettled.
The New Nigeria People’s Party National Publicity Secretary, Dr Major Agbo, also questioned the propriety of Buhari’s praise of his regime, stating that the government had not done well. The SDP National Publicity Secretary, Rufus Aiyenigba, described the APC regime as a monumental failure, and expressed surprise that Buhari would make such a false claim.
In response to the criticism, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said that 75 contractors were engaged in the project, and over 13,000 Nigerians were employed both directly and indirectly. The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of FHA, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, described the project as a manifestation of the regime’s deliberate housing policy in line with the promise of providing shelter to Nigerians.