Twenty-Eight years after Nigeria defeated Zambia to win the Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia, the Federal Government is set to redeem its pledge of giving every member of the team a housing unit each.
Nigeria defeated Zambia 2-1 in 1994 through goals by Emmanuel Amuneke to win its first Africa Cup of Nations trophy outside the country. It was the country’s second triumph in the competition, which it won for the first time at home in 1980.
The Guardian recalls that after the victory, then Head of State, General Sani Abacha, promised to reward each member of the team with a housing unit for bringing honour to the country.
However, redemption had been hard in coming, with only a few members of the team getting their houses in Abuja. Some members of the squad died without getting their houses, but closure for everybody involved is at sight.
On Monday, in Lafia, Nasarawa State, President Muhammadu Buhari, approved allocation of houses to 22 members of the team in their various states.
Speaking in Lafia, Nasarawa State, during the commissioning of completed homes under the administration’s National Housing Programme initiative, Buhari said the approval is in fulfillment of the pledge made to the players by the Federal Government, 28 years ago.
The event was the first in the series of the formal commissioning lined up to hold in 34 states of the federation where Phase I of the houses has been completed.
Represented by the Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Muhammed Abdullahi, Buhari described the completion of the housing projects as a fulfillment of the promise of change that was made to the people by his administration.
He added that the provision of the housing estates across the country was informed by the government’s desire to achieve one of its primary objectives, which is to improve the human condition.
Buhari said the housing projects provided contracts for the micro, small and medium businessmen and women, who provided employment for people through the engagement of skilled and unskilled workers thereby unleashing a value chain of economic activities that have made a positive impact in the lives of ordinary Nigerians.
“These are some of the people our country remains committed to move towards prosperity and away from poverty and we are already reaching them by providing opportunities for employment for those who were hitherto unemployed,” he said.
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