FG, Nasarawa Govt Unfold Reforms Towards Affordable Housing

18 states have given the federal government free land, with 19, 478 homes already built, including 582 that were purchased from the Millard Fuller Foundation

The federal government said it is finalizing on a comprehensive ten-year national housing scheme, aimed at harmonization of all housing initiatives in the country.

Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, disclosed this during the commissioning of 248 low cost houses at the Grand Luvu 3B Estate, in Masaka, Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, on Friday.

This is just as Nasarawa State governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, unfolded reforms introduced by his administration aimed at evolving sustainable housing, as well as increased private sector participation in the state’s economy, particularly the housing and construction industry.

While identifying the twin challenges of inadequate and substandard housing in the country, Professor Osinbajo said the Buhari administration since inception, is at the final stages of bringing onboard a comprehensive ten-year national housing scheme that will reduce cost of housing construction through the use of local building materials.

The Vice President explained that the new policy, which has inputs from the private sector, will enhance access to building financing through deepening participation of the country’s stock exchange, valued at USD57bn.

He disclosed that at inception, the Buhari administration, established the social investment programme, a N500bn initiative designed to improve the quality of life of most vulnerable in the society, with N100bn of this set aside for the national housing fund, for low cost housing.

The Vice President added that, with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government unfolded the Economic Sustainability Plan, where another N200bn was set aside for the national social housing programme aimed at delivering 300, 000 new homes, in collaboration with state governments.

According to him, so far, 18 states have given the federal government free land, with 19, 478 homes already built, including 582 that were purchased from the Millard Fuller Foundation.

“I was told by the Family Homes that we are in the process of negotiating another 400 homes with the foundation. The aim of our social housing, as in low cost, is to be able to build a self-contained one bedroom at a maximum of N2m and N3.2m for a 2-bedroom,” Prof Osinbajo said.

He pointed out that while the challenge of inadequate housing undermines the lives of so many Nigerians, it also negatively affects the economy of the country.

The Vice President therefore commended the Millard Fuller Foundation, for its efforts at providing housing for especially Nigerians who need it most, as affordable cost.

Commenting on the efforts of his administration to further develop the housing and construction sector, Nasarawa State governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, said the state government created enabling legal and regulatory framework, in line with the Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS), which focuses on increased private sector participation.

“We have enacted the model mortgage foreclosure law to improve liquidity in the housing industry, ensure our people have access to affordable houses and restore the confidence of the investor.

“We have also enacted the investment and PPP law to create enabling framework for public private partnership in the sector and other important sectors of our economy. Indeed, we have also strengthened our geographical information service, to improve the access and ease of registration of property and title documentation in Nasarawa State,” he stated.

Engineer Sule disclosed that, already, his administration has kick-started implementation of a robust Nasarawa housing programme in collaboration with the family homes and the federal mortgage bank, to create enabling environment for private investment, also to provide sustainable housing for the poor and vulnerable, as well as ensure liquidity in the sector.

Responding to the request by the vice president to rehabilitate the road leading to the Grand Luvu 3B Estate, the governor promised to construct the 5km road linking the area.

Engineer Sule made known the plan of his administration to also construct about ten kilometres Jankoya Road in Masaka, however urging the people to maintain such infrastructure.

Earlier, Mr Sam Odia, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Millard Fuller Foundation, said his organisation is an affiliate of Fuller Centre for Housing in the US, aimed at building simple, decent and affordable housing for the poor.