Monday, 22 September 2014
NLC's Mass Housing Project For Nigerian Workers in Danger of Collapse
The Nigeria labour Congress NLC has raised alarm over plans by a private developer to frustrate its mass Housing project for Nigerian workers.
It would be recalled that Congress went into understanding with a number of developers to provide affordable housing for workers. One such understanding was with Kriston-Lally, with whom Congress signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
Based on this, and subsequent advertisement, a large number of workers subscribed to the project. Under the MOU, Kriston-Lally was to build specified housing types at agreed prices. The funding of the project was to be provided by financiers whom Kriston-Lally had identified from abroad. The NLC was, on its part to ensure that there were off-takers of the housing units by mobilizing workers to subscribe by paying ten percent of the price of desired house type.
The response of Nigerian workers to the advertisement of the project was overwhelming. Congress was excited by this. However, on the 4th of October, 2013, Congress decided that further subscription and collection of money be stopped to enable the project consolidate and deliver the first phase of houses to those who had subscribed within the promised time frame of December, 2014. This decision was served on and acknowledged by Kriston-Lally on 4th of October, 2013
A statement signed by NLC President, Abdulwaheed Omar said Congress became worried, as the take-off of the project kept on being delayed. Due to the delay, a number of subscribers applied for a refund of their deposits. In the process of processing the application for refunds, it discovered a bank teller which showed that a subscriber had paid the initial deposit into an account, other than the advertised NLC-KRISTON LALLY EPC PROJECT ACCOUNT IN ZENITH BANK (ACCOUNT NO. 1013399671).
The statement said the discovery was disturbing because Congress, had in order to guarantee the safety of workers’ deposits, insisted on being joint signatory with the MD of Kriston-Lally. The discovery that some workers may have made payments into accounts unknown to NLC led to further enquiries.
NLC therefore assured all workers who subscribed to the project that it is doing everything possible to secure their interests, adding that all funds deposited in the advertised NLC-Kriston-Lally account mentioned above are safe and secure.
Congress also said it is working with relevant agencies to explore ways of ensuring that subscribers who may have been manipulated into paying into other accounts are protected.