By Chris Ochayi
Worried by over 17 million housing deficit facing the country, the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, REDAN, announced that it has concluded arguments to build 100 housing units in each of the 774 Local Government Areas in the country.
President of REDAN, Dr Aliyu Wamakko, who disclosed this while speaking with Vanguard in an interview in Abuja, said the association has concluded arrangements to sign a memorandum of understanding, MoU, with Family Homes Funds, FHF, to fund the projects.
Dr Wamako noted that REDAN has made several consultations with relevant stakeholders in the built industry in order to actualize the project.
He said REDAN was working with professionals in the built sector like the Nigerian Institute of Builders, Nigerian Institute of Architects, Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors and Nigerian Institute of Land Surveyors to ensure standards of the houses.
The Family Homes Fund, FHF, is a social housing intervention programme initiated by the Federal Government with initial shareholding by the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA.
Wamakko revealed further that the scheme tagged Rural-Urban Housing Initiative, RUHI, 774, is part of the contribution of the association towards creating employment for Nigerians.
He said the scheme is expected to provide about 2,500 jobs, direct and indirect, in each of the 774 local governments Local Areas the housing projects would be sited.
Wamakko, who is also the Chairman of Jedo Investment Limited stressed further that the targeted customers for the housing scheme are the medium and low-income earners in the para-military, National Housing Fund, NHF, contributors and any Nigerian that has the capacity to pay back, the informal sector.
According to him, the association has written letters to targeted off-takes and they have confirmed that they will participate in the purchase of the houses.
According to him, “Our aim is to revitalize Nigeria’s economy by creating massive employment for the teeming youth population. We want to turn around the way of doing business in the country and make the government aware that they have no business building houses.
“We are sure of creating employment, wealth through this scheme especially at a time the country is in recession and battling COVID-19 pandemic”, he said, adding that “REDAN is teaming up with the Family Homes Fund for financing for the project.”
Wamako, who emphasized on the mode of loan to be secured said, the association wants a single-digit loan so that the dream of building affordable housing units can be realized.
According to him, ‘‘If the government can give intervention fund to the health and entertainment sectors, then it should give to the construction sector too. Most of the people that will handle the project are REDAN members.”
The REDAN, he said, “Has about 3000 registered corporate firms all over the country”, adding, “We are going to pay interest on the loan and create massive employment for the people in the rural areas. Funding this initiative is a win-win situation for the government.”
On the cost of the high cost of building materials, he said REDAN was in touch with the building materials association of Nigeria to make sure the houses to be built are made in Nigeria homes, thereby creating opportunities for raw materials.
REDAN boss disclosed that ‘‘Some of them have promised 25percent discount for us as their own corporate social responsibility, CSR, for the execution of the project.”
He also explained that all the professional bodies have agreed to use the project to mentor fresh graduates from the university as they are to release their members at the federal, state and zonal chapters to participate in the needed supervision for the project.
REDAN according to Wamako is creating a cluster with the housing project which the government can also use for economic empowerment of Nigerians.
“The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN, is expected to provide mortgages for the beneficiaries. We want FMBN to do this under their Rent-To-Own programme.
“Beneficiaries will be given keys before they start paying which will be 25,000 per month. We are providing our lands for the project. All we want from the government is single digit loan and we are going to pay VAT on it.”