By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
As Nigerians continue to grapple with the challenge to own decent houses of their dream, the Affordable Housing Cooperative Society, Tuesday, stepped in to assist Federal Government to bridge the existing over 20 million housing deficit with the launch of two products, Easy Mortgage and Collateral Direct.
The launch of the products was done via webinar by the President, Affordable Homes Cooperative Society Town Planner Komolafe Lukman, along with other board members.
Lukman explained that the government alone cannot provide houses for the over 200 million Nigerians and those yet to be born, hence cooperative societies such as the Affordable Homes Cooperative Society, to jump in to rescue the situation with innovative strategies to ensure Nigerians own decent homes of their dream.
He said: “Today is an important day for us at Affordable Homes Cooperative Society, which was established over 10 years, and it was formed to fill the gap, which is housing need, which is also a basic necessity of life including clothing and food.
“We have a serious deficit in Nigeria as far as housing is concerned. The sole aim of forming this cooperative in 2011 is to solve part of the deficit of housing in Nigeria.
“In making that effort we acknowledge the fact that there are challenges, but we at Affordable Homes Cooperative we are taking advantage of the opportunities by making sure we meet the housing needs of Nigerians and also bridge the gap.
“However, we have identified problems facing the housing sector in Nigeria which include land, mortgage, which an average Nigerian cannot afford a mortgage because of the income of Nigerians.
“Considering these challenges we have come up with two basic solutions to address these challenges, which we call Easy Mortgage; this is to assist Nigerians access mortgage easily, and the other is what we call Collateral Direct; this is to tackle the challenge of an average Nigerian who is into the business when it comes to moving their business forward in terms of accessing loans from Microfinance banks, while some are stuck and cannot move forward because they cannot access loan because they lack collateral.
“The good thing is that we as a cooperative is out to fill that gap either by purchasing land through our partners by making sure we solve the problem of collateral.”
According to him, “Our target of launching these two products is to ensure that Nigerians benefit from them, which on the long run we are going to fix the problem of housing which we are optimistic that if we fix this problem of housing deficit in Nigeria we will solve a lot of problem in Nigeria.
“We also know that housing could be used as a panacea to the country’s economic problems because it could be used as a conveyor-belt because if a site begins work it will lead to the multiplier effect of job creation, the supply of building material, food selling and other”, he stated.
Meanwhile, in a goodwill message, the Executive Secretary, National Co-operative Cooperative Financing Agency of Nigeria, CFAN, Emmanuel Atama, commended the initiative of the Affordable Homes Cooperative Society and pledged support for success with the new products launched.
“As we make giant strides in all sectors of the economy and housing is inclusive. The National Cooperative Society of Nigeria has been working with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria together with other cooperatives making sure that housing is affordable for Nigerians.
“The FMBN has provided a window called the Cooperative Housing Window the intent and purpose and the FMBN and the National Cooperative Financing of Nigeria have been interfacing on behalf of cooperatives in Nigeria to ensure we create a window that promotes inclusiveness.
“Unlike before that access to mortgaging is for those in the formal sector. Working with the FMBN today, the window has been provided for those even in the informal sector
“We all know that when cooperatives intervene in any sector of the economy it makes things ordinarily not affordable to be affordable, and that is why we are very happy with the Affordable Homes Cooperative Society with respect to the intervention they have provided for access to housing in Nigeria. We are proud of them, wish them well, and will provide them the necessary facilitation to make sure they succeed.”
Also speaking was the Executive Secretary, Affordable Homes Cooperative Society, Mike Dibie, who explained that the cooperative is legally registered with Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, and CFAN, and added that members are projected as a priority to ensure their narrative change in positive based on the formidable team of management.
He said: “Affordable Homes Cooperative Society is legally registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, also with Cooperative Financing Agency of Nigeria.
“Primarily the cooperative gives optimal support to members to own their own houses and also to live a fruitful and happy life, and members have fulfilled lives because they have access to personal and business loans and to own houses including buying goods at discounted rates on developing a property. To register is N5000, while you own a share by buying 10 units at N10, 000 with a fee of N2000 as monthly contribution as a member. The portal is there and soon our app will be out. Our headquarters is in Abuja. We can be reached at www.affordablehome.com.ng or 0817388222.
“Today we are launching two products that would further deepen the impact of Affordable Cooperative Society which are Easy Mortgaging and Collateral Direct to have loans that make their business prosper.”