Benue moves to mitigate housing deficit

By Jovitta Iorshase

In a bid to reduce the housing deficit in Benue State, the state government has embarked on Executive Quarters Project at Utur Mega Layout in Makurdi Local Government Area of the state.

Already, work has commenced with perimeter survey and beaconing of the site, measuring 100 hectares.

When completed, the houses will be given out to all interested persons and would not be limited to senior citizens.

Assessing the level of work done so far, the State Commissioner for Lands Survey and Solid Minerals, Bernard Unenge, recently disclosed that, “the Executive Quarters Project is in line with the United Nations Charter for the provision of housing for all, which is being keyed in by the Benue State Government to enable senior citizens and others afford houses.”

Explaining the purpose of his visit to the site, the Commissioner said, “I am not only at site to assess the survey work but also to interact and sensitise members of the host community on the importance of the project.”

Unenge assured that adequate compensation will be given to members of the community and interested youth in the area will be fully engaged to provide labour and other services at the site. He mentioned other benefits for the community to include, amenities such as hospital, school, recreational centres, electricity, water, markets, among others.

On how the lands ministry would tackle illegal developers who may encroach on the layout, the commissioner said, “the Benue State Government has launched digitisation policy in land administration, which would take care of all the sharp practices in the system.” He made it clear that all the layouts are going to be digitised and only those who have been allocated plots of land by the government or community allocation with papers at their disposal will be considered.

The commissioner called on members of the public to come to the ministry and process their land titles now that it is done through a very fast process.

In his remarks, the contractor, Surveyor Timothy Anawambe, assured that work on the perimeter surveying, beaconing and enumeration would be completed within one month and acknowledged the state government for giving him the opportunity to carry out the job.

Some members of the community, Chief Zaki Gabriel and Prince Chia Shirsha, in their separate comments said they have been praying for such a project for a long time. They commended the Benue State Government for siting the project in their community.

They also thanked Governor Samuel Ortom for constructing an access road in the community, which has opened up the area for further development.

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