NLC begins work on N960bn workers’ estate December

President Goodluck Jonathan will in January 2014, inaugurate the construction of some housing units aimed at providing affordable houses for workers.

The housing project, initiated by the Nigeria Labour Congress, will be executed in conjunction with Kriston Lally EPC Nigeria Limited and their foreign partner, Kriston Lally Enterprises Atti-kat.

A statement by the NLC obtained on Sunday said the foundation of the first phase of the over 600,000 workers’ housing units at a cost of N960bn, would be laid in the second week of December.

It stated that the arrangement to start the construction began when senior members of the NLC led by its President, Mr. Abdulwahed Omar, visited Athens, Greece, recently and finalised the agreement with the partners, which included the funding and manpower.

The NLC said it had signed the N960bn ($6bn) agreement with the private property developer, Kriston Lally EPC Nigeria Limited, to provide houses for its members in both public and private sectors across the country, at the interest rate of two per cent.

The project, it stressed, was aimed at providing an opportunity for members of the NLC to own their own houses.

The proposed housing estate would consist of one-bedroom, two bedroom detached and semi-detached, three bedroom detached and semi-detached, four bedroom bungalows and four bedroom duplexes detached as well as semi-detached, it stated.

According to Omar, the trip to Greece has been rewarding, adding the country has a long history, strong ties and progressive issues.

He said, “When we came on board, we promised our members that we will do as much as possible to ensure that as many workers as possible get shelter before they retire because we believe it is one of the very serious issues facing Nigerian workers today.

“The partnership is about providing quality and affordable housing for the Nigerian workers. We have found in this Kriston Lally a very formidable partnership that we can rely on, we can trust and we can work with.

“That is why when they invited us here, we were really strengthened by the fact that it is a reality and it is giving assurance to us and by extension we are also reassuring Nigerian workers that by the grace of God, when we go into this it is going to continue to have a multiplier effect until Nigerian workers are comfortable in the area of housing.”

Describing the housing scheme as a very wonderful initiative, Omar said the meeting with the foreign partners and the financiers was successful, adding that the Nigeria embassy was also involved in the process. The Nigeria Ambassador to Greece, Mr. Ayodeji Ayodele, who also hosted the partners, said the collaboration with the Greek company would bring succour and happiness to Nigerian workers.

“Over the years, they have managed to establish their skills and specialities in several areas of human activities. Our business link can work in collaboration with these people to move such industrial know-how and assets into Nigeria for local production. This will complement the efforts of the Nigeria Labour Congress; it will bring more jobs to our people,” he said.

The Managing Director, Kriston Lally Nigeria, Alhaji Mustapha Madawaki, said about 5,000 workers had already subscribed to the phase one of the scheme in Abuja.

According to him, when construction begins in  Lagos, Port Harcourt and other states, the total number of subscribers will be 100, 000.

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