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Betta will build N3trn homes for the underprivileged, internally displaced people, and refugees

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The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, unveiled plans on Monday for the construction of N3 trillion houses for one million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees across the country.

Dr Edu, who disclosed this during the inspection of the prototype houses at Idu Industrial Estate, Abuja, which were built within 10 days, noted that the houses will be built at a cost of N3 million each by the communities.

Speaking after the inspection of the prototype houses, she said, “We are on an inspection of the just-completed and sample houses. The President, Bola Amend Tinubu, is committed to providing shelter for the poor, internally displaced persons, and refugees in Nigeria.

“We have to immediately carry out a sample of what these shelters will look like, so we have two of them. One is a one-bedroom, and the second is a two-bedroom, but they are both samples, and these samples were built by the local people in the community for themselves. At the same time, they are very cost-effective, and the building was built for N3 million in 10 days.

In the community, what is also interesting about it is that we want to introduce the solar system so that this shelter for the poor, vulnerable, refugees, and internally displaced persons is not dependent on the national grid but can at least use the solar system to take care of the basic electrical needs such as lights, phone charging, and basic ironing.

“So, we are here to inspect and officially take over the one-bedroom and two-bedrooms that had been built as samples for the shelter programme under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and poverty alleviation.

“Remember that we are dealing with multi-dimensional poverty, and part of the dimension is the fact that the people do not have a proper shelter over their heads.

“We went to Benue, and we saw a million people who had been displaced and are staying in a very tight shelter. This is a family of six or five living in that little water-proof house, and when it rains, it rains on them. When the sun comes down, it shines on them and the little children, which is unacceptable.

“And that’s why President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has said that we should help these communities and build dignified homes that are built by themselves; this is not going to be built by a contractor. It’s the community that is going to build itself, and by doing so, they’ll be empowered.

“We are training the young people on building skills to be part of it; we also give them the dignity of building the house they will live in.

“This is what will give the community ownership of the project; by so doing, they’ll not vandalise or destroy it. At the same time, it gives them economic power.

“Because as they build, they are being paid, like those who brought water, cement, and sand from the sea, and those who cut the wood from the bush were all paid, so that locality or village gets the support they need to build themselves up economically, so it’s both economic empowerment and skills empowerment and most importantly, providing shelter for those without shelter.

“They have already done the ground-breaking in Benue State, and we speak, they have completed the clearing of about 10 hectares, giving way to the building of the 40 houses.

“The borehole that will supply water to the building is ongoing, after the setting and laying of the foundation for the building.

“It’s easy to build; this was built basically in 10 days. And we want to see how we can put more speed because a lot of IDPs exist in different parts of Nigeria and they need shelter as soon as possible.

“The government intends to build a million shelters across Nigeria for the poor, internally displaced persons, and refugees, which invariably translates to providing shelter to about 5 million Nigerians.

“Each of these shelters was budgeted at $3 million to get them completed. And of course, this is partly reflected in our budget for 2024.

“And if you recall, the Federal Government just approved the Humanitarian Trust Fund, which has 30 percent donations from the government and the remaining 70 percent from the private sector, donor agencies, development partners, and philanthropic individuals, amongst others.

“Benue, Borno, Zamfara, Adamawa, Yobe, and other areas where we have internally displaced persons and where we have communities that are extremely poor, and lars of their requirements will be shelter,” the Minister noted.

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