The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) has revealed that all feuds delaying the full kickoff of the FESTAC Phase 2 housing project have been resolved, saying the imminent commencement of the project is expected to created nothing less than four million jobs for Nigerian youths and professionals in the formal and informal sectors.
This was disclosed recently by the Managing Director of FHA, Professor Mohammed Al-Amin, during a media chat where he disclosed that the authority had won a legal battle with some ‘omooniles’ (natives) over the ownership of some 4,000 hectares of land where the housing estate is expected to be sited.
He posited that now that all legal storms were over, with the Appeal Court giving full ownership of the land to FHA, the agency could now deploy all necessary machinery to ensure that the project hits the ground running.
He said an employment window had thus been opened to no fewer than four million Nigerians who would be given direct and indirect jobs, thereby helping to reduce the unemployment gap in Nigeria.
“Now that the legal case over the ownership of the land, which should never have been in the first place, has been resolved in our favour, FHA can now begin to fulfill its dreams about the FESTAC Phase 2 housing project,” said Prof Al-Amin.
“Our dream for FESTAC Phase 2 is similar to what we have in Dubai. FESTAC Phase 2 will be the first town to have an independent power generation system, with the entire project expected to generate over four million jobs, both in the formal and informal sector of the economy,” he added.
The FHA boss, however, expressed sadness that while the legal battle lasted, the ‘omooniles’ had gone ahead to sell pieces of the land to unsuspecting members of the public, including portions not meant to be sold, thereby messing up with the original plans of the estate.
He pointed out that portions of land meant for public infrastructure and amenities such as a roads, set backs, parks and police stations, among others, had been sold by the ‘omooniles’ as residential places, thus disrupting the master plans of the estate.
He, however, assured that the authority would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the original master plan of the estate was not only restored but strictly adhered to
“Now that we are fully in charge, one of the first set of things we will do is to open up poorly allocated roads by ‘omooniles’ so as to restore the original master plan. There is an FHA master plan for FESTAC Phase 2, which has already been developed,” he further disclosed.
Professor Al-Amin further pointed out that the development of the Phase 2 project would take place in four different places at the same time, which he said would include helping the once warring natives, so that they could be able to expand their settlements without disrupting the original master plan anymore.
“FHA can never even think about obliterating native settlements so that they can be part of the development plan. The only thing is that they would not be allowed to sell government lands to people anymore,” he said.
According to the FHA boss, other developmental plans already in place for the project is the establishment of a youth academy, which would be for the training of young artisans in the built environment, thus helping to create employments in the foreseeable future.
He also noted that sections of the land had also been mapped out for the establishment of the National Housing Programme as well as a housing project to take care of Nigerians in the Diaspora, among others.
He therefore called on members of the public not to entertain any fear in keying into the FESTAC Phase 2 project, seeing that all legal battles had become resolved, but that the public must ensure it dealt directly with the authority, and never with any native or omoonile.
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