The Delta State Government has said that its housing policy and projects are geared towards improving a housing framework for the state.
The State Commissioner for Housing, Chief Festus Ochonogor, stated this on Thursday, October 24, 2019 when he played host to the Chairman and members of the House Committee on Housing, Women Affairs, Community and Social Development in his office in Asaba.
He noted that the ministry is saddled with the responsibility of designing, supervision and execution of government related buildings including residential and office buildings.
“We are pleased to have you in our ministry, and we are also happy that the Assembly have the responsibility of monitoring the executive by way of oversight functions through committees.
“The Ministry of Housing is principally a projects ministry charged with the responsibility of formulating and monitoring the implementation of Delta State Housing policies.
He added that the ministry also render consultancy services to other Ministries, Departments and Agencies in helping to certify projects.
“Designs and bill of quantity are brought to us for vetting before execution and certification before payments are made.
“We are encouraging private developers through Public Private Partnerships (PPP) by providing enabling environment for affordable Housing for Deltans and this initiative has attracted a 650 housing units at Issele-Azagba, 150 units at Ibusa road, Asaba, 32 units of two bedroom in Ozoro and others at Ugbolu.
The Commissioner further stated that the ministry offers site services especially in the area of roads, water and electrification for estate projects while we are also saddled with the responsibility of supervising the Delta Development and Property Authority (DDPA) the only agency under the Ministry of Housing.
“As a developing state there is dearth of office accommodation for government offices which informed ongoing construction of the new secretariat building aimed at bringing all ministries and agencies together for productivity.
Ochonogor noted major ongoing projects in the Housing sector include the State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC), Traditional Rulers Secretariat and Ecumenical Centre in Asaba.
He listed critical challenges facing the ministry to include inadequate professional manpower and project vehicles, which according to him, had led to over stretching of the few available.
He thanked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, the State House of Assembly and staff of the ministry for their massive support since he assumed office as Commissioner in charge of the ministry.
Responding, Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Ferguson Onwo, said the Committee was on a familiarisation tour of the ministry to Forster the relationship between the Committee and the ministry and to ascertain areas of collaboration.
“As Honourable Members we have a duty to see what you are doing as a ministry. Under our oversight functions, our relationship has been very cordial and that is how it ought to be.
“As a committee we are determined to partner with you to see to the success of your ministry and we will try as much as we can to work on the challenges identified by you.
“The needs of man are basically food and shelter and shelter is very important to human being and as representatives of the people, we will partner with you to ensure that you deliver on your mandate.
“Our role is to support the ministry for a sustainable infrastructural development as the era of abandoned projects are over in Delta, adding we will partner with you to ensure the State’s Housing policy is sustained.
“We are also aware that people have encroached on government land meant for housing developments and must be recovered,” he said.
Among those on the visit are the Committee’s Vice Chairman, Hon Moses Anaughe, Hon. Peter Uviejitobor and Hon Asupa Forteta.