The Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mr Mustapha Baba Shehuri, has stated that the ministry would ensure that the challenge of housing deficit, put at 17 million units, in Nigeria was surmounted.
He also said that the ministry’s Public Private Partnership arrangement to build mass housing units for public workers over the next three years had reached an advanced stage in terms of implementation.
Shehuri said this while commissioning Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria Scheme/MINFA (Nigeria) Limited ministerial pilot housing scheme at Naze in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State.
He said that the completion of the Naze estate and its peers across the country was a demonstration of the achievement of the Federal Government in providing affordable housing for Nigerians under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Shehuri said it was the resolve of Buhari administration to support FMBN to ensure that it was adequately recapitalized and repositioned to cater for the mortgage finance needs of the Nigerian workers.
He said, “This estate and others being financed by the FMBN were funded from the limited resources of the National Housing Fund. I, therefore, call on all Nigerian workers, both in public and private sectors, including the self-employed, to ensure that they contribute to the National Housing Fund, so that we can assist them to own their homes”.
In his speech, the Acting Managing Director/ Chief Executive of FMBN, Mr Richard Esin, noted that FMBN financed the project from the resources of the National Housing Fund Scheme.
Esin said, “On the basis of their constant and continuous contributions to the NHF Scheme, Nigeria workers become eligible for the mortgage loan at a concessionary interest rate of six percent per annum and repayable over the maximum of 30 years.
“The terms of the loans granted under the NHF scheme are concessionary and affordable in order to promote home ownership among Nigeria workers.”
He stated that FMBN/Ministerial Pilot Housing Scheme project was a vehicle for the FMBN to be an effective and efficient instrument through which the Housing Ministry was actualizing its policy for provision of affordable housing for Nigerians.
In his comments, the Developer and Chairman MINFA Ltd., Dr Emmanuel Mbaka advocated for Federal Minister of Works/ Housing to strengthen and support the model.
He said, “The Ministerial Pilot Scheme overtime has the power to be the successful and sustainable model of housing delivery to Nigerians. The magic works this way: The Ministry engages in procurement of land, the FMBN provides the funding while the tested proven developers like MINFA Ltd. will be engaged in the production of the houses”
Mbaka further praised the concept saying, “This is because there is no doubt that the housing sub-sector in Nigerians had its challenges, which had made it very difficult for the average Nigerians to have unfettered access to qualitative and affordable housing”
He enumerated lack of access to land for construction, inadequate funding and lack of enabling legislature as some of the challenges hampering the projects in the country.