By YINKA KOLAWOLE
Lafarge Africa Plc has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Shelter Afrique, a pan-African housing and development institution, for the purpose of facilitating access to affordable housing for low income earners in Nigeria. The agreement which will commence with the development of identified sites at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, will be for an initial period of four years. The development is meant to boost housing stocks for the middle and low-income classes of Nigerians.
Under the terms of the MOU, the areas of cooperation between the two organizations include provision of assistance to define the best construction technologies for use in affordable housing and micro-finance projects as well as supply of cement and concrete products for projects.
Group MD/CEO, Lafarge Africa, Mr. Guillaume Roux, said at the signing ceremony, said the move was to assist government in the quest to provide affordable housing for Nigerians. “This is in furtherance of Lafarge’s objective of complementing government’s efforts to boost national development through improved infrastructure, industrialization and economic growth. Our commitment to bring more housing and better solutions to contribute to building better cities in Nigeria will be enhanced with the implementation of this agreement, which represents a new major step in our affordable housing program,” he stated.
Roux noted that the company started its affordable housing programme tagged: “Ile Irorun,” in October 2013. The vision of Lafarge is to help about two million people around the world to have access to housing. We want to fill the gap of housing deficit in Nigeria. So far, over 6,000 people have been impacted by the scheme through more than 1,000 constructions, with each beneficiary having an average of six members in their families,” he added.
The Lafarge boss further noted that the partnership would help drive down the cost of housing in the country. “We need to drive cost down; that is why it is important for us to work with key stakeholders that are experienced, hence our partnership with Shelter Afrique. The idea is to also look for ways to expand the market,” he said.