GOV DICKSON WOOS INVESTORS INTO HOUSING ESTATE PROJECTS IN BAYELSA TO PROVIDE AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR THE CITIZENRY
Bayelsa State Government has called on private sector operators to key into the state housing development projects aimed at providing affordable accommodation in Yenagoa and the headquarters of the Local Government Areas in the State.
Fielding questions from newsmen in Yenagoa, Governor Seriake Dickson, who decried the high cost of accommodation in the state, noted that, his administration has already completed some housing units for civil servants.
He said, the government was working out modalities for the allocation of the houses to prospective beneficiaries, including prices for each unit, which he promised to make affordable in line with the welfarist policies of the restoration government.
To give the housing scheme the desired push, Hon Dickson while calling for more private sector participation, noted that government has commenced negotiation with some interested banks and the National Pension Commission (PENCOM).
According to the governor, the Bayelsa State Government will soon launch what it calls ‘the New Yenagoa City Development project’, which is located in a highbrow area of the State capital, adding that, a large expanse of land has been acquired for two major housing estates in Agbura and Anyama in the outskirts of Yenagoa.
His words: ” Yenagoa has a very serious accommodation crisis and I don’t see why rents should be more expensive here than other cities in this country. We must address it, but the government alone cannot do it. So, we are open to private sector collaboration. We intend to work with some banks and are discussing with PENCOM.
“But we have a number of housing units that are ready for civil servants, which will be allocated to them soon. I am only waiting for them to sit with the team and agree on the prices because the consideration is not profit but largely welfare. The first batch will be publicly distributed to them.
Continuing, he said ” We have opened up two major estate developments. There is one at Agbura and the other one is at Anyama. It is over 100 hectares and clearing has been done. We want to open the outskirts and in the next two months or so, we will also launch the new Yenagoa City Development. But we are more concerned with low and medium scale housing. Another estate is also planned for Boro Town in Kolokumo/Opokuma Local Government Area of the state.
On efforts at beautifying Yenagoa, the governor noted that, the State Environmental Sanitation Authority has been reorganised to effectively discharge its duties, adding that, the government plans to provide a central system of disposing waste in an environmentally-friendly manner.
He said government has already employed the services of experts to plant trees and flowers in the state capital, however warned residents to desist from indiscriminate dumping of refuse.
“People must take responsibility for the refuse that they generate. There is no politics about some of these things so that we will not be left behind and be a laughing stock. But, government will provide a central way of disposing waste in an environmentally friendly manner and in doing so, also create more jobs for our people. Waste disposal is big business. So what I intend to do is to have the Sanitation Authority divide Yenagoa into different areas and give out each area to Bayelsans, who will set up sanitation firms and employ people.