President Goodluck Jonathan is set to launch about 600, 000 housing units valued at N960 billion ($6 billion) for Nigerian workers. As part of efforts to build affordable houses for its members, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) entered into partnership with Kriston Lally EPC Nigeria Limited, a private property developer to build affordable housing estates for Nigerian workers in all the 36 states including the FCT. The collaboration of NLC with Kriston Lally EPC Nigeria Limited is to ensure a good number of the labour members have decent roofs over their heads. An agreement which will bring the housing projects into reality was signed on April 6, 2013 by Deputy President of the NLC, Mr. Promise Adewusi, and the Group Managing Director (GMD) of Kriston Lally EPC Nigeria Limited, Mr. Mustapha Madawaki. Already, President Jonathan has expressed interest in the project which will be commissioned by him in the first quarter of the year. Madawaki, who confirmed this to journalist said the NLC is awaiting President Jonathan for the immediate take off of the project, adding that the partners is set to move to site for the full commencement of the construction in Abuja. He said but for the inability of President Jonathan to fix a date for the launch of the scheme, the company would have started the construction as scheduled early this month. He, however, assured that a date will soon be fixed for the foundation laying ceremony and the launch of the project, which will signal the take off of the construction at the three sites in Abuja. “As at last week, all the equipments regarding block making and materials for the take off of the construction of the houses have been imported, but the congress and its partner said they are waiting for President Jonathan, who have accepted to personally launch the stone laying foundation of the workers’ houses. “The leadership of the NLC and Krison Lally had met the President shortly after their arrival from Greece where they tidy up the final agreement late last year, and the President had assured that the foundation laying would be done by him this January,” he said. On the promise made to Nigerian workers who have subscribed and paid their initial money that they would start to see the commencement of the houses early January, Madawaki said: “We want the president to come and do the stone laying ceremony. He had accepted to do this, but no date has been agreed as at last year. But by and large, we are ready. We are just waiting on the President to come and do the stone laying ceremony.” Speaking further, he added: “We looked at both scenarios. We are already making arrangement to move to site for the purpose of clearing and to start some aspect of the main work. Of course we expect to have some things on ground before the President comes for the stone laying foundation. He is not going to come to perform the stone laying on plain field. My thinking was to invite you in a week or two so that you can also go and see what we are doing.” He assured that the delay by the President on the stone laying foundation will not affect the December hand over date to subscribers as earlier promised, adding that the NLC and Kriston Lally will work to ensure that workers who subscribed will get their houses by December 2014. “From our point of view, we have been ready since October last year. All along, we have been waiting for NLC to fulfill its own. Everything has been taken care of. What is left now is the understanding between our bank and their bank which they are sorting out among themselves,” he added.
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