By Ibrahim HassanWuyo
Determined to bridge the housing supply gap in Nigeria, an affiliate of the United Nations, the UN Rescue Services /Favour&Marvel Ltd has commenced the Hope Shelters Project to provide affordable houses to Nigerians who might have lost hope of owning their own houses.
Speaking in an interview shortly after the organization awarded some distinguished Nigerians with the UNRescue Ambassador award, the Global Chairman and CEO of the organization, Ambassador Steve Midallah said having realized that the housing supply gap in Nigeria was in the shortfall with over 22million houses, it is apparent that providing sustainable housing in Nigeria has been an uphill task which cannot be serviced by governments alone.
Those who received the award were among others, famous Nollywood actress, Ambassador Tontoh Dikeh, Ambassador Lawrence Emenike Onwa Ogbunka and other prominent personalities who had distinguished themselves in the service for humanity.
He said they selected citizens and humanitarian workers known to have rendered social services to the country through diverse means like providing food stuffs to the hungry,health care services to the needy, construction of boreholes and lots more,and awarded them for their sacrifice and services to humanity.
According to Ambassador Midallah,the organization was willing and able to undertake the affordable housing project to ameliorate the severe housing challenges being experienced across Nigeria.
He explained that the project was the pilot scheme of their Nigerian housing initiative which has been initiated to take off from Abuja ,the Federal Capital Territory and eventually be deployed to the 6 geopolitical zones of North-East, North-West, North-Central, South-East, South-South and South-West of Nigeria.
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He said they would handle the Housing Project with independent and central functional amenities across Nigeria at an estimated cost of $3.5B.
The amount he said, shall enable them realize their objective of delivering quality and affordable houses to Nigerians.
He explained that in the first phase, they intended to deliver at least 100,000 housing units within the first Phase of 1 to 3 years, to make it a revolving Program of 10 Phases with 10,000 units developed per phase.
” This means that Phase1 shall be 10,000 units and Phase 2 another 10,000 units. We propose to construct 20,000 housing units in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory,” he said.
Ambassador Midallah disclosed that several hundreds of hectares of land have been sourced for this purpose from private land owners and applications forwarded to government agencies for direct allocation of land in various parts of the country.