Good news to us all. Our habitat and place of abode which has been neglected for so many years is about to have a face-lift and transformation .
Since 1977 when our wonderful housing Estate was developed , there has been no major move by the government to make things better but that is a story of the past .
The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) Managing Director, Prof. Mohammed Al-Amin said under the initiative, projects to be worked on have been prioritised, based on the estate’s age. FESTAC TOWN, he said, is among the first generation of estates that deserve FHA’s attention.
He said many issues would be resolved before the project starts, adding that for instance, there were issues of non- payment of statutory fees, allocations and multiple uses in lands restricted for extension.
“This is a new system of urban regeneration, where you integrate the original inhabitants of urban communities. We are starting it for the first time in Nigeria. The so called neighbourhood centres that we have both in FESTAC TOWN and in Gwarimpa are going to be transformed to not only market type of barrack stalls and shops, but into modern mini-malls where you can get in there, buy almost all you want and then come out within a beautiful parking lot with all the security or facilities that you have. That is what we are planning and that is what is coming to FESTAC TOWN,” Al-Amin explained.
He said just as modern estate around the world have fantastic facilities, utilities and services, which he said, are absent in FESTAC TOWN estate as well as in other estates in the country, the FHA is determined to create a very large area of its estate and erect solar farm, which he reckons will take the estates off the national electricity crisis, and make electric power available for the occupants of the estates 24 hours.
Other services to be improved on include the fire service, the landline telephones for houses and excellent security system with CCTV cameras, a dedicated line for water system. These are to start with Gwarimpa scheme, and then taken to FESTAC.
Also, the landscaping issue, for instance, in Gwarimpa, will see the environment benefitting from a planned planting of seven million trees in the area this year alone. This, according to the FHA boss, is in line with the thinking of bringing Gwarimpa to a standard of the neighbourhood that is known as Surrey in England, where most of the rich live.
“Most of the millionaires don’t stay in London really, they migrate to Surrey because of the fantastic things that are there. This is exactly what is going to happen in Gwarimpa and FESTAC and not only in these two places, but across the country,” Al-Amin added.
But the regeneration of an estate as huge as FESTAC or Gwarimpa involves huge capital. This is a source of worry for stakeholders who said the Government alone cannot muscle the financial requirement for this initiative.
The FHA boss explained that the financing of the scheme would not be handled by an entity, and that FHA as facilitators for this urban renewal programme, has its own budgets, just as the private developers that are participating in the project also have a certain amount of money that they have injected.
So lets keep our fingers crossed .
Source: Daily Independent