Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has advised developers to start thinking of erecting high-rise buildings in Abuja given acute shortage of lands for public workers in areas that are accessible to all the means of transportation.
He made the appeal yesterday when he received the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi Esan.
The minister said the concept should be similar to what was adopted in Lagos State, where massive high-rise buildings were constructed in Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Surulere to tackle accommodation problems being faced by civil servants.
He also pledged to partner the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to improve the welfare of civil servants in the FCT.
The minister stressed the need for the provision of affordable houses for civil servants, adding more partnership is needed among government agencies to provide high rise buildings in the face of inadequate land to carter for the teeming number of civil servants in the FCT in need of personal accommodation.
“What we have also observed is that the concept of building that hitherto was done here in Abuja may be 20 or 25 years ago, even for the affordable housing, is no longer sustainable in the sense that land is simply not available in the areas that are accessible by all the means. In applying the concept of affordable housing, we should now start thinking of high rise buildings.
Bello noted that with a strong collaboration, a robust high capacity bus system could be worked out to meet the transportation needs of civil servants, saying this will ease the hardship faced by civil servants in transporting themselves to and from work.
Earlier, the HoS had solicited the assistance of the FCTA to improve the welfare of civil servants across the country, especially in the areas of affordable housing and transportation.
She said that it was worrisome that many civil servants cannot afford to own their own homes and hence the federal government introduced the FISH (Federal Integrated Staff Housing) scheme which was designed to enable civil servants own houses at affordable rates.
She disclosed that over 50,000 civil servants had signed up for the scheme and requested that the FCT Administration to expedite action on the provision of land for the programme.