By Kingsley Adegboye
A new approach capable of delivering houses within 17 days and at reduced costs, has been unveiled by Messrs Lafarge Holcin, manufacturers of Elephant Cement products. The new approach was introduced by the company to offer a wide range of affordable housing solutions to prospective home owners across Nigeria with a view to bridging the housing gap currently put at a staggering 17 million units.
These facts were disclosed by Lafarge’s General Manager, Independent Power Project , IPP Mr. Lanre at a capacity building forum organised by the Ibadan branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE in collaboration with Lafarge Cement.
To make the solutions affordable Nigerians, he disclosed that the prices of the houses range between N2 million for one bedroom bungalow and N4 million for a three-bedroom bungalow. The prices, according to Opakunle,do not include cost of land and infrastructure. A prospective home owner, he said is expected to already have a piece of land for the project.
On the mode of payment, he said there are two schemes. “One is for affordable housing where you tell us you have land and we verify that and go through the process of designing the house, giving you technical experts to support your project from beginning to the end; linking you up with a micro-finance bank to get your loan. This is for affordable housing,”he said. The second scheme is the mass housing which according to Opakunle, is designed as tall buildings. “Under this scheme, prospective developers who already own land approach Lafarge and depending on who we are partnering with, will define the payment structure,”he said.
According to Opakunle, Lafarge is currently building one of these tall buildings in Lagos for the use of the company as its pilot scheme.
He noted that the company’s partnership with the Ibadan branch of NSE is based on their long-term relationship with the Society and the desire to “grow the knowledge within the Nigerian engineering space”.
“We have a research centre in Leon, France where we are able to develop building solutions severally and we share knowledge from there through this kind of training organised by the Ibadan NSE. It is like professional development. The Society is aware of the value Lafarge brings to the construction industry and that is the reason for the sustained partnership. It is a relationship and our staff are also members of the NSE,” he said
The Principal Secretary of the NSE Ibadan branch, Mr. Kunle Olaoye said the main focus of the new executive was to have more training workshops for members both in-house and in other branches of the NSE.