The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr Usani Usani, has inaugurated a 40-unit housing estate at Ikpiri Ikang, Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr Usani said the intention of the government was to accommodate widows and some of the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in Bakassi Local Government Area.
He said the project was aimed at bridging the disparity between the rich and the poor.
“A man without accommodation is like a mad man and will never be able to effectively plan his life: the government understands this and by providing social interventions like housing, they are also intervening in household economies,” he said.
The minister, who conducted on-the-spot assessment of beneficiaries of the apartments and discovered that most of the occupants were either not from Area or those targeted.
“Some of the people whose names are there were not supposed to be occupants of the houses; the reason for building this estate was because the government is trying to achieve housing for all.
“We are going to work with the paramount ruler to get the real people, who should occupy these houses.
“We are also going to give plots to people securing the estate. Community leaders would be given plots too,’’ he said.
Earlier, the Paramount Ruler of Bakassi, Etim Edet, urged the Federal Government to properly resettle those forcefully ejected from their homes due to the ceding of Bakassi to Cameroon.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Aminu Bisalla, represented by Mrs Lauren Braid, said building the estate was one of the ministry’s mandate in providing good housing in the Niger Delta region.
Mr Bisalla said housing had a multiplier effect on the social, economic and welfare of the people and advised the beneficiaries to see the estate as their own and continue to secure it.