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Friday, December 8, 2023

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Buhari Inaugurates 748 New Homes, Says He’s Fulfilled Promise

•Okays partial exclusion of finance ministry from Treasury Single Account

•Gives MOFI go-ahead to charge management, transaction fees

•Insists current upgrading of Nigerian military will make it force of global reckoning

President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, declared that his government’s promise of change for homeowners in the country had been fulfilled. Buhari spoke during the presentation of keys to some new homeowners at the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Zuba, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The presentation happened the same day the president approved the partial exclusion of the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) from the Treasury Single Account (TSA). He also granted MOFI permission to charge management and transaction fees.

In another development, Buhari explained, yesterday, that the current repositioning of the military, through training, networking, and equipping, would turn it into a force of global reckoning. He urged the officers to keep giving their best to the country.

Speaking at the presentation of keys to the new homeowners in Zuba, FCT, the president urged the homeowners to live together in peace and harmony.

Buhari said in his speech at the inauguration of the estate, “I convey my hearty congratulations to the new homeowners in this estate. Our promise of change has been fulfilled for you.”

The estate is on 18.5 hectares of land, and comprises 748 units of various house types in 75 blocks.

The president charged residents of the estate to consciously work together with the FHA to ensure the maintenance of the property and safety of the environment.

Buhari congratulated Chairman, Managing Director, Members of the Board, and Staff of FHA on the successful completion of the estate. He stated that the project was another testament of his administration’s commitment to lift people out of poverty.

He said, “Housing supply is one of the indices of multi-dimensional poverty that challenges our people and the completion of this estate provides a solution for the beneficiaries.

“The new homeowners who benefit from this estate have taken a step up on the ladder of prosperity and away from poverty.”

Buhari acknowledged that more Nigerians were waiting to benefit from the mass housing project. He urged the management of FHA not to relent in delivering other projects at various stages of construction and development across the states.

He said, “One of the measures that we have consciously deployed to attack poverty, create prosperity and develop our economy is the aggressive provision of infrastructure nationwide.”

The president said such investments help to create jobs for artisans and other skilled members of the society.

Earlier, Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the completion of the project was the product of teamwork and leadership by Buhari, who gave approval for quality appointments into the FHA board and management.

“Instead of abandoned projects, we now have 748 completed housing units for Nigerians and their families to shelter,” Fashola said.

He disclosed that 75 contractors were engaged in the course of the project, while over 13,000 Nigerians were employed both directly and indirectly.

Fashola told the president that the five beneficiaries, who received keys to their flats, including Tina Orkpe, Salisu Iliyasu, Ado Maude, Rabina Abdulkadir, and Flight Sgt. Musa Mohammed, subscribed through FHA Rent-to-Own delivery model.

“Although many of the beneficiaries of this project will never meet the president personally, your policies and programmes have met them personally at the point of their needs,” the minister said.

In his remarks, Chairman, Board of Directors of FHA, Senator Shuaibu Lawal, thanked the president for providing the grant of N7.5 billion for the project to commence in May 2018.

Lawal said, “Without that grant, which served as the seed money, this project would not have been possible. Mr President, you take all the credit for what we are seeing here today.”

Lawal stated that the estate was ideal for Nigerians who could not afford houses in areas, such as Maitama and Asokoro, in the FCT. He lauded the Minister of Works and Housing as well as FCT minister, Mohammed Bello, for their commitment to the project.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of FHA, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, described the inauguration of the project as a manifestation of the visionary and deliberate housing agenda of the Buhari administration. Ashafa said the president, in keeping with the promise of providing shelter to Nigerians, approved the grant to FHA.

According to him, the authority delivered the project at a total cost of N9.5billion, with the subvention of N7.5 billion from the federal government.

He explained that the balance of N2 billion construction cost came from FHA’s other projects, which were ploughed to complete the estate.

Ashafa disclosed that FHA had commenced the development of Bwari Estate, Abuja, near the Nigeria Law School, which would deliver 336 units of various houses under the first phase of the project.

He added that the proposed Diaspora City initiative, which targets Nigerians in the Diaspora, was in progress. He said the intention of the government was to extend the programme to all the regions of the country, with Abuja as the pilot scheme.

President Okays Partial Exclusion of Finance Ministry from Treasury Single Account

Buhari, yesterday, approved the partial exclusion of MOFI from TSA.

According to a statement issued by the media adviser to the president, Femi Adesina, the president also granted the request of the Board of MOFI to charge management and transaction fees; and to include the Minister of Power in the Governing Council.

Buhari, who conveyed the approval at the First Governing Council meeting of MOFI, recalled that the new MOFI was launched on February 1, 2023, to transform it from a registry of investment records to a world-class asset and investment management company.

As a government-owned investment company, the president stressed that MOFI must be supported to exercise its responsibility of achieving strong returns on investment, while also contributing to broader economic development of the country.

He commended the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, Chairman, Board of MOFI, Shamsuddeen Usman, and the entire Executive Team of MOFI for the job well done, three months after inauguration.

According to him, “MOFI’s mission is to generate strong risk-adjusted returns, contribute to the well-being of Nigerians, and be a trusted steward of our nation’s assets and investments.

“With a vast portfolio and strategic investments that span across multiple sectors, MOFI has the potential to shape industries, spur innovation, and support economic growth.

“I am glad to note, from the Board and Management update, the crucial activities and positive engagements by MOFI in just three months after inauguration.”

Buhari advised staff and management team of the investment company to continue to work closely with other government agencies, the private sector, Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), and other stakeholders to ensure that they achieved shared goals and objectives.

On the restructuring of MOFI, the president explained that it was a clear indication of the government’s commitment to harnessing and creating value from its assets and investments. He added that the federal government was now positioned to optimise its assets, make strategic investments, diversify the economy, generate more revenue, revive public enterprises, and increase transparency in the public sector.

The president reminded members of the council that they had been carefully chosen because of their expertise, experience, and dedication to serving the nation.

Buhari expressed confidence in the abilities of each council member to bring unique perspectives, insights, and skills that would enrich collective decision-making.

The president said, “Our role as the Governing Council is many-sided. We must ensure that MOFI’s investments are aligned with Nigeria’s economic objectives.

“We must ensure that we put in place strong governance policies; we must uphold the highest standards of governance and transparency.

“We must engage with MOFI to understand their aspirations, needs, and challenges, we must continue to adapt and innovate in a rapidly changing world.”

Buhari: Current Upgrade of Military Will Make It Force of Global Reckoning

The president explained that the current repositioning of the military, through training, networking and equipping, would turn it into a force of global reckoning.

He has, therefore, urged officers to keep giving their best to the nation.

Speaking at the inauguration of a Nationwide Secure Defence Headquarters Communications Network, GIWA 2 Project, Phase One, in Abuja, Buhari assured that the government would sustain its role in meeting the demands of the armed forces by evolving necessary initiatives to enhance their position.

Buhari stated, “As the Armed Forces of Nigeria continue to reposition to provide the enabling environment for enhancing the security and well-being of the citizens, I implore all our troops to give their best in the service of the nation.”

The president said the GIWA 2 Project would provide real-time secure means of communication and incident reporting, as well as information exchange between the armed forces and other security agencies.

“It also stands to enhance collaboration between our Defence, Intelligence and Security Community while providing the platform for the denial of freedom of action to all perpetrators of insecurity across Nigeria.”

Buhari noted that the project’s objective was in alignment with some of the main focus areas of the federal government in security, economic progress and technological development.

“These benefits of the GIWA 2 Project informed the timely support of the federal government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria, to ensure that the centre is commissioned as one of the proud landmarks and enduring achievements of the Armed Forces of Nigeria under this administration,”

Buhari directed the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to collaborate and support the Defence Headquarters in the project, which could impact on rural telephony.

He stated, “To this end, the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is to support the Defence Headquarters in ensuring that the infrastructure available for rural telephony are fully deployed for the attainment of GIWA 2 Project deliverables. The federal government shall support the full actualisation of the other phases of GIWA 2 Project.”

The president hailed the armed forces for their patriotism, loyalty, sense of duty and gallantry.

According to him, “Nigeria is blessed with professional and vibrant armed forces, which have continually displayed the unflinching capacity to protect the territorial integrity of our country.

“Our armed forces have continually demonstrated resolve to provide a safe, secure and enabling environment to promote national security.”

Buhari said his government had made significant strides to enhance the capacity and capability of the armed forces to tackle the multiple security challenges.

The president listed some of the efforts to include the establishment of Joint Task Forces and the creation of several new military formations to facilitate the conduct of decisive operations against all threats.

He stated, “Other efforts to reposition the Armed Forces of Nigeria include acquisition of new armaments and technology platforms to enhance the conduct of military operations and massive infrastructural development to provide our personnel with befitting accommodation as well as formulation of policies and initiatives to improve the welfare of troops and their families.”

Buhari commended the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, and other service chiefs and stakeholders for the conceptualisation and remarkable work in the establishment of the GIWA 2 Project. He urged the Chief of Defence Staff, service chiefs and all personnel to work assiduously towards enhancing national security.

He said, “I am confident that, together we can pave the path for creation of new opportunities to usher Nigeria into a bright future driven by a safe and prosperous environment.”

Earlier in his welcome address, Irabor stated that the inauguration of the GIWA 2 Project was the culmination of Buhari’s directives in 2021 that the Defence Headquarters must ensure that farmers displaced by insurgency went back to their farms. He stated that the project would ensure secure communication for the military in carrying out its responsibilities.







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