Hope that the Akwa Ibom State government would provide affordable housing for civil servants and other groups is fading away as there is no provision for housing development in this year’s budget presented by the state governor, Udom Emmanuel, recently.
According to the 2016 budget, while housing will continue to receive the needed boost, there has been no specific provision for the development of housing estates including the construction of sites and serviced estates for individuals to build their houses with the support of the state government.
Governor Udom who maintained that the state government would “continue to pay compensation on acquired lands, enlighten the public on issues concerning Certificates of Occupancy, embark on maintenance and rehabilitation of public infrastructure,” however added that government’s land would be fully utilized for the benefits of the citizenry.
The state government has made a provision of N31.257 billion to cover development control within Uyo capital city, payment of compensation on acquired land apparently for the construction of roads and bridges and enlightenment campaigns on issues concerning C of O.
Checks have shown that corporate organizations and private firms are involved in housing development in Uyo, the state capital, and this has often come with high rents hardly affordable by low income earners.
Meanwhile, the state government has indicated that it would open up more rural communities through the provision of basic social amenities and economic infrastructure such as the tarring of slippery roads, provision of mini water scheme and electrification programmes.
Estate developers have often appealed to the state government to initiate programmes in the housing sector by creating housing estates that would be affordable to low income earners and civil servants.