Senior civil servants partner firm on affordable housing
•Low income housing estate

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru 

THE Federal Government and cement manufacturers have agreed on a discount price on cement for the construction of 300,000 houses under the Economic Sustainability Plan, ESP, for low income earning Nigerians. 

The 300,000 housing unit is part of the Federal Government Social Housing Scheme aimed at providing affordable houses for low-income earners. 

Making the disclosure weekend while visiting the completed model houses in Dei Dei, an outskirt of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said it was possible to deliver decent and affordable accommodation that will be within the reach of many Nigerians.

 According to the statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, Prof. Osinbajo, who fielded questions from journalists after the visit to one of the construction sites of the housing scheme, noted the contributions of major cement manufacturers in the country towards the success of the programme.

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 He said, “They have agreed to give cement for this project at a considerable discount which is a very helpful thing to do and we really commend and thank them for the contributions they are making, it is a very patriotic thing on their part. They also see the importance of this Mass Housing Programme.”

 After seeing the prototypes of the one-bedroom and two-bedroom bungalows, Osinbajo expressed satisfaction with the quality of the design and the fact that the houses are very affordable.

 The Vice President noted that “on the average, anybody who is earning N30,000 a month and is ready to spend a third of that amount, will be able to afford one of these houses, that is the plan. What I have seen so far, there is a one-bedroom unit and there is a two-bedroom unit, both coming under N2 million.

 “I think that this is a very good thing indeed. And a point has been made that it is possible to build good, decent accommodation that isn’t out of the reach of practically everyone.”

 Commenting on the implementation of the scheme across the country, the Vice President assured that the Mass Housing Programme will be provided across the country.

 Prof. Osinbajo said, “we are hoping that we will be able to replicate this not just in Abuja but all over the country. So far, the Family Homes Fund is in 11 States, and they have given up land for the project.

 “We are hoping that this year, we will be able to very rapidly improve the scale and speed of putting these houses in place. Once we are able to get moving quickly, we think we can make available several thousands of houses across the country and more people can afford to live in such houses.”

 He noted that the job creation component of the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) would also be actualized through the Social Housing Scheme.

 His words: “Also important is the job creation aspect of it. You have young men and women who are builders, architects, civil engineers working on this project. We are hoping that a lot of the building materials will be locally fabricated especially the windows, doors, and other components of the houses.”

 The social housing scheme of the President Buhari-led administration is an important aspect of the plan by the Federal Government to address the housing needs in the country by building thousands of low-cost houses and in the process create wealth and jobs for youths that will be engaged in the construction of the houses.

 Under the ESP, the Federal Government has mandated the Central Bank of Nigeria to provide financing for the housing scheme and an N200B facility has been approved as the first tranche already.

 There would also be Rent to Own option as part of the administration’s resolve to impact the common man in this social housing plan expected to generate 1.8m jobs and deliver houses to about 1.5m Nigerian families.

 The implementing agency, Family Homes Fund (FHF) Ltd, an agency under the Federal Ministry of Finance, has already mobilized thousands of Cooperative groups across the country who will participate in the Social Housing plan as the main warehouse agents and also mobilize the low-income buyers. For instance, FHF has met with 93 Cooperative Leaders from the 6 geographical zones, under the aegis of the Co-Operatives Federation of Nigeria.

 Individuals who do not belong to cooperatives have not been left out as they can also apply through the portal: www.nshp.gov.ng.

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