Rep. Samuel Onuigbo (PDP Abia), has commended the Federal Government and Minister for Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, over moves to begin construction of a Federal Secretariat Complex in Abia.
Onuigbo also commended Fashola, for publicly acknowledging provision of the land by Abia State Government for the construction of the secretariat.
The lawmaker, who represents Ikwuano, Umuahia North/South Federal Constituency of Abia in the 9th House of Representatives, made the commendation in an interview in Abuja.
He said that Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, had approved the provision of the seven-hectare land to the Federal Ministry of Works, for building of the federal secretariat in the state.
Meanwhile Fashola, at a budget defence session on Nov. 12, at the Senate and House of Representatives joint Committee on Housing, acknowledged publicly that the Abia government had provided land for that purpose.
“It has come to our attention that two states, Abia and Ebonyi, do not have federal secretariats, and I think that Abia has formally made a request to us, and they have also provided land as one of the requirements to build a secretariat,” the minister said.
Onuigbo, said given the provision of land, the construction of the secretariat would be a win-win situation for Abia and Federal Government.
“I just want to thank the Honourable Minister, for acknowledging the efforts made by Abia government in providing land for building of a federal secretariat, and to use this opportunity to commend him.
“Because we had this conversation on Oct. 23, 2019, and between then and now, in spite of the COVID-19
pandemic, we have been able to work in a cordial, harmonious and productive way which has led to the provision of the land.”
“Since the land has been made available, we can start from fencing the place to make sure that we have a federal secretariat in Abia, and reduce the associated cost by the government agencies in the state that are paying rent,” he said.
Onuigbo said he had asked the minister during a budget defence session on Oct. 23, 2019, why Abia did not have a federal secretariat, like other states many years after it was created, and Fashola had advised him to liaise with Ikpeazu to provide land.
“I wrote a letter on Oct. 23, 2019, and met with my governor, he has provided the land. That gives me, and indeed other Abians, hope that the project will be carried out as soon as the Federal Ministry of Housing sets aside resources for that purpose, and I commend him, because this is swift action.”
On addressing housing deficit in Nigeria, the lawmaker said government had to develop a clear policy designed at creating an enabling environment for private sector to drive development of the sector.