The Minister of Works of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN has said that the Federal Government is tackling the country’s housing challenges on multiple fronts.
He said: “The story is that the housing challenges are being tackled on multiple fronts through Government and Private sector initiative and that is how many services you see across the world are delivered.”
The Minister stated this during an inspection tour to Cosgrove Estate located at Mabushi and Wuye which are being developed by private sector and the Federal Housing Authority Estates located at Guzape being developed by Public sector in collaboration with ELN Properties and the one at Zuba being developed solely by public sector through the Federal Housing Authority in Abuja respectively on Tuesday August 30, 2021.
He said that what the government was doing in the housing sector was to provide affordable houses for all category of Nigerians. “Government’s involvement in the two sites visited show the different levels of demands and service needs that we are catering for. There are many people in the housing economy who want different things, and needs and they cannot be served by one specific person, that is where the private sector comes in to play,” he said.
He said government alone cannot fix the challenges in the housing sector so there was the need to collaborate with the Private sector. “We, through collaboration with the private sector, are providing for another category of off-takers and demands. But even if what we do is not enough, we have to involve them because they can play at high level, middle and lower level as well.”
Fashola said that Government was planning to build a National Housing Bond that will enable housing developers to access at a very reasonable rate. “That is something I have been discussing with my colleagues, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning who is in charge of fiscal policy and hopefully she will be able to engage the Governor of Central Bank, who controls our monetary policy. This is just to show you that something is going on in the sector of this economy”, he explained.
He added that apart from government building and providing land, it also plays a role in helping the collaboration work better. “Our interest is also to know how they are financing their projects and government can help in terms of interest rates, access to more capital because as you can see, so many people are working here and jobs are being created and that is how infrastructure in housing translate to jobs. So government is interested in growing the economy and creating employment.”
Speaking on the rather low occupancy of the Federal Housing Authority Estate in Zuba despite its appreciable level of completion, the Managing Director of Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Senator Gbenga Ashafa said that it was due to the fact that the injection substation to supply energy to the estate was still in progress.
“As much as we want people to come into the estate, only 24 occupants are here now and this is because they decided to bring in their generators. On our part, we want to make the estate very habitable, we don’t want occupants to suffer any neglect in terms of energy. It is about 80% completed now.”
The Federal Housing Authority Estate in Zuba comprises of 352 Units of One bedroom flats, 264 Units of two bedroom flats,128 Units of three bedroom flats and 20 Units of three bedroom terrace duplex. At off the total of 764 Units, 548 Units have been completed so far.
The Estate has roads and drainage completed up to 90% done by Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA). It also has external water reticulation with three water stations which are 100% completed.
Earlier the Managing Director of Cogrove Smart City Real Estate Investment and Tech, Mr. Umar Abdullahi said that they have different categories of housing types: Premium and affordable houses to suit the needs of all Nigerians.
“We are working with government to see that we can extend the payment period so that it becomes flexible and affordable to ordinary Nigerians and we hope that the collaboration will impact the economy in terms of job creation,” he said.
The Honourable Minister was accompanied on the tour by the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Babangida Hussaini and some Directors in the Housing sector of the Ministry.
*Director (Press & Public Relations)*