By PROVIDENCE OBUH

Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Plc is set to partner with Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) with a view to tap into the N21.3 trillion financing needed to bridge the housing deficit in Nigeria.

This is contained in its annual report for the financial year ended December 2012, which revealed that the company is bringing into the country, a Lafarge Group business initiative aimed at developing affordable housing solutions for low to middle income Individual Home-Builders (IHB) through access to microcredit and technical assistance.

According to the report, “The Project, which has been successfully launched and implemented in Indonesia and Honduras is considered relevant to Nigeria, where about 14 million households are in need of housing microfinance to renovate, extend or build their house from scratch, representing a total market size of N21.3 Trillion (source: Alitheia Capital, 2011). To tap into this huge market, Lafarge WAPCO will partner with Microfinance institutions with proven integrity and willingness to key into the objectives of the project.”

Meanwhile, Preliminary work on the project began in the second quarter of 2012 and Lafarge WAPCO is currently working to facilitate investment in the identified microfinance institutions to launch a pilot in 2013.

In the penultimate year, the company further re-stated its commitment to its customers with the development and introduction of an additional product into the cement market to complement the existing Elephant Classic and Supaset brands: Powermax Cement.

However, “Powermax Cement is the first SON certified 42.5 cement product in Nigeria meant to cater for the needs of specialized users who require high strength concrete. Since its introduction into the market in mid-2012, the product has been well received by major construction companies in Nigeria.”

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