Union Homes Savings and Loans Plc has commissioned its Enugu and Asaba branches to serve as housing delivery outlets in Enugu and Delta States, respectively.
Managing Director of the PMI, Mr. S.O. Thomas, at the head of a management team to the states, noted at the unveiling of the offices that the firm is willing to going into partnership on projects with the respective state governments, and also ready to support accredited developers by availing them of the benefits of the institutionâ€™s products and its experience with the National Housing Fund (NHF).
Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State, represented by his deputy, commended the visiting Union Homes team for its offer to partner the state government in providing affordable housing for the citizenry and shelter-related facilities for the government.
According to a statement by Union Homes, chime pointed out that affordable housing was crucial to good governance and urged Union Homes to complement governmentâ€™s current effort to provide 10,000 affordable housing units in the State.
The Enugu State governor also assured of his administrationâ€™s readiness to partner with Union Homes to increase the delivery of good and affordable homes that would adequately suit the citizenry, who mostly were civil servants.
At the commissioning of the Asaba branch, Governor Uduaghan of Delta State, represented by the Commissioner for Housing, Abraham E. Bobor, congratulated Union Homes on its high achievement profile in housing delivery across the nation and urged the firm to fully exploit the business opportunities in Delta State by opening more branches.
UduaghanÂ commended the existing business relationship between Union Homes and some state government agencies, advising the firm to extend its support and collaboration to other arms of government to execute development projects such as Waste Management, Transportation, Education and Health Care Systems.
N3bn needed to combat Dutse erosion
About N3billion is required to effectively combat erosion and flooding in Dutse, the Jigawa State capital.
Chairman, Dutse Capital Development Authority (DCDA), Alhaji Bashir Aminu, noted that the disclosure was based on the findings of a study of experts, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Aminu noted that a recent downpour led to the collapse of four buildings in Danmasara Housing Estate and other parts of the city and warned that the authority would henceforth demolish any structure erected on the cityâ€™s waterways.
The DCDA Chairman said that a task force had been set up to sanitise the state capital and enforce extant town-planning regulations, with its terms of reference including the removal of all illegal structures in the city.
He added that the task force would also address the menace of hawking, while promoting proper environmental sanitation in Dutse. The task force has so far dismantled 355 illegal canopies and 19 illegal kiosks on Kiyawa Road,
Rivers partners NAF on home ownership scheme
The Rivers State government has entered into a partnership arrangement with the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) by committing over N1 billion to the construction of the NAF Foundation Home ownership scheme in the state capital.
Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi noted during the flag-off and commissioning ceremony of the scheme in Port Harcourt, that the move was in keeping with its promise of the Rivers State government to partner with the NAF in the realisation of the home ownership scheme.
While affirming the preparedness of his administration to the completion of the project, Amaechi
urged NAF to commit more funds to the development, noting that the number of buildings on the site has not marched the expectations of the people since the location of the housing scheme is strategic and would attract more buyers.
Amaechi said that the state government has done enough to justify its seriousness in the partnership in the areas of providing infrastructure like roads, electricity supply and drainage. He urged the contractor handling the drainage system around the housing scheme to ensure that the drains are properly channeled to avoid flooding when the flats are put into use.
Also speaking, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin, said Port Harcourt was chosen for the scheme because of its hospitable status and in keeping with the determination of the state government to restore its Garden City status.
Petinrin commended the state government for the fulfillment of its promise in the partnership, noting that without its cooperation, the programme would not have recorded the success achieved within one year.
He explained that his administration would assist the foundation with mortgage finance to enable those that cannot be accommodated in the present site have space for the houses to be built at its property in Rumuokushi.
FHA turns to high-end housing development
In an apparent deviation from its core mandate of ensuring provision of affordable housing for low and medium income earning Nigerians, the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) is now concentrating on the development of houses for high income earners.
The new Managing Director, FHA, Mr. Terver Gemade, blamed the development on the lack of funding from the federal government which, according to him, has made the firm to rely solely on bank loans to meet up on housing delivery.
Gemade, who was on an inspection visit to some newly built housing units at Gwarimpa and Lugbe areas in the FCT, built for high and middle income earners respectively, however noted that FHA is not completely abandoning its mandate, assuring that it will soon embark on provision of mass housing across the country.
â€œFor now we have concentrated on houses for high income earners which were built in Gwarimpa. The cost is not low enough for middle and low income earners. It is just because we have been commercialized. We do not receive any funding from Federal Government any more for housing production. So we are out there in the market just like any other private developer.Â â€œWe borrow money from the bank and we build these houses and we have to pay back the loan and make some little profit and that is why our products this time are high price but they are still cheaper than that of private developers. I can assure you of low cost because we still have element of social responsibilities,â€ he said.
The FHA boss gave an assurance that medium and low income earners, which constitute the majority of Nigerian population, will soon start to benefit from the housing development being put in place by FHA.
According to him, Lugbe extension housing estate with about 240 three-bedroom bungalow housing units, will after completion be for middle income earners at affordable prices.
It would be recalled that the former Managing Director of FHA, Brig-Gen. Tunde Reis, at the inception of President Yarâ€™adua administration, unveiled a plan by FHA to facilitate the provision of two million houses within four years under a national Social Housing Programme (SHP), based on a new mandate given to the authority by the Federal Government to facilitate social housing provision for low- and medium-income people of our economy using a gamut of delivery models.
Reis declared that the SHP would be end-users driven through the use of co-operatives, development agents and partnerships through public-private sector participation (PPP), adding that the beneficiaries or the target groups would include public sector employees, private sectors workers and people in the low- and medium-income brackets.
The SHP is equally designed to benefit special groups which include the elderly, displaced people, physically challenged, widows, youths and disadvantaged locations such as the Niger Delta, areas of desertification and gully erosion localities.