For a typical Sokoto man, leaving the family house has always been the last option. This is due to the long-held tradition which was entrenched by the quest for a united family.
The Director, Culture, of the Waziri Junaidu History Bureau, Bello Hamisu and Malam Abubakar Shekara, a Special Adviser to Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal on Public Affairs and resident of Arkilla Low Cost, the attitude of the people, including senior civil servants, who didn’t want to leave their family compounds, which led to Sokoto old cities been very congested and densely populated, is now changing.
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“This is why there is high demand for government quarters now, a reason why the state government is embarking on massive construction of housing units across the state,” Malam Shekara said.
Currently, 2,000 out of the 2,500 housing units in the state metropolis are all occupied on an owner-occupier basis. The houses include the 500 Mana Housing Estate, 500 Bado housing estate, 500 Bafarawa Estate and 500 Kalambaina housing estate which were mostly two and three-bedroom flats.
Daily Trust gathered that the 500 Bafarawa Estate was constructed during Governor Attahiru Bafarawa’s administration while Bado, Mana and Kalambaina housing estates were constructed by Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko government which also took the credit of constructing the 30 housing units across the 23 local government areas of the state.
However, Gidan Salanke ultra-modern housing project, which is ongoing, was awarded by Wamakko but it is the current administration that is financing the project.
Wamakko could not sell the houses as promised because the occupants had rejected the prices recommended by a committee and the duration of payment.
However, when Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal came on board, he set up another committee that reviewed the price and subsequently sold all the state-owned quarters on owner-occupier basis.
The governor was said to have warned that nobody should be deprived of his right to own a house on the ground of religion, region or ethnicity as long as he was its true occupant.
Daily Trust learnt that the houses were made affordable and the modality of payment included an initial deposit of 20 per cent of the total sum within the first six months while the remaining balance is to be paid within one year.
The state Commissioner of Land and Housing, Aminu Bala Bodinga, explained that the government has subsidised the houses so that the occupants would buy them at ease.
“For instance, the 3-bedroom flat in Kalambaina was subsidized by 50 per cent and is payable within 15 years for civil servants and five years for other people.
One of the beneficiaries of the houses said that they rejected the price during Governor Wamakko because it was high and the modality of payment was not favourable.
He, however, said the new price given by the current administration was reasonable and the timing for payment also fairly okay.
Bodinga added that the state government was partnering with Family Home Limited in the construction of 3,000 houses across the 23 local government areas in two phases.
Our reporter gathered that another development partner, Omni Frontiers International Limited, a World Bank project is to construct 10,000 housing units for displaced people and low-income earners in the state.
“The state government has fulfilled its part of the agreement,” the commissioner said.
He stated that another 342 housing units estate would soon be awarded.