The National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) has officially launched the first phase of its 25 affordable housing schemes at the Koyagbema section in Kenema, Eastern Sierra Leone.
The Resident Minister East Hon. William Juana Smith did the turning of the sod ceremony for the construction of the 23 unit houses.
In his welcome address the Paramount Chief of Nongowa Chiefdom Alhaji Amara Bonya Vangahun welcomed all and sundry to the auspicious gathering saying that they as Paramount Chiefs are there to advise their subjects in order to live well in their various communities, to enhance lasting peace and stability in the region.
He advised the members of NASSIT to take their time in ensuring affordable housing; payment of retirement benefit and other important dealings with the public as the entire nation depend on them for quality work.
In his welcome speech the Chairman of the ceremony who is the Chairman budgeting committee of the Kenema City Council and also the acting Mayor of the Kenema city council Mr. Brima Bawoh cautioned all for a proper use of the would be structures by NASSIT.
Mr. Bawoh informed the gathering that the low earning people will also benefit from these affordable houses at low cost noting that even those employees who come from far away from other towns around the country will have access to the houses.
The Chairman Board of Trustees of NASSIT Mr. Jacob Kanu in his speech first introduced the board of trustees of NASSIT among which was AIG Tamba Gbekie who represented the Police Force.
He further said the housing problem does not only affect Kenema alone but the nation as a whole. He stressed that they have done similar things in Freetown and are about to do the same thing here in Kenema pointing out that 32 houses have been built at Goderich in Freetown. The chairman described the Grafton housing as a middle-income programme launched by the president Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma saying that the affordable housing scheme in Waterloo is the same they are about to build in Kenema. The President’s vision, which is the construction of new cities in Sierra Leone, is a reality the chairman stated. He disclosed that 50 acres were given to them in Kenema and they are going to build 25 houses with two or three bedrooms on it.
The Chairman said the structures yet to be built are very timely saying that the past eleven years of devastating rebel war left the entire country with no better house for visitors and other officials from outside the country.
The Chairman concluded by saying that these houses are To Let or Mortgage to people who will need them in due course. He promised that they would introduce a home finance Mortgage Company to allow them get loans so that the less privileged can afford one. In his keynote address the Resident Minister East Hon. William Juana Smith who represented President Koroma says the present APC government will try by all means to encourage any developmental activity in the country. He says the current President was part of the formation of NASSIT and that his government will support it to the end. Minister Smith intimated that the APC recognizes that a house is a basic necessity for the entire nation at any time. Concluding the Minister said his government is proud of NASSIT saying that the pride, which NASSIT expects and for which it is relentlessly striving is a wealthy estate, based on economic and self-sufficiency. He cautioned all not to involve in any way in selling the properties meant for the construction of the houses and that any one caught in such act will face the full penalty of the law.