Cement manufacturers in Nigeria have agreed with the federal government to charge discount price on their cement as part of their determination to ensure the success of the Social Housing scheme where the Buhari administration will construct 300,000 houses under the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), for low income earning Nigerians.
Making the disclosure over the weekend while visiting the completed model houses in Dei Dei at the Federal Capital Territory, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, affirmed it is indeed possible to deliver decent and affordable accommodation that will be within the reach of many Nigerians.
Answering reporters’ questions after the visit to one of the construction sites of the Social Housing scheme, the Vice President in a statement by his media aide , Laolu Akande noted the contributions of major cement manufacturers in the country towards the success of the programme.
According to him, “They have agreed to give cement for this project at considerable discount which is a very helpful thing to do and we really commend and thank them for the contributions they are making, it is a very patriotic thing on their part. They also see the importance of this Mass Housing Programme.”
After seeing the prototypes of the one-bedroom and two-bedroom bungalows, Prof. Osinbajo expressed satisfaction with the quality of the design and the fact that the houses are very affordable.
He noted that, “on the average, anybody who is earning N30,000 a month and is ready to spend a third of that amount, will be able to afford one of these houses, that is the plan. What I have seen so far, there is a one-bedroom unit and there is a two-bedroom unit, both coming under N2 million.
“I think that this is a very good thing indeed. And a point has been made that it is possible to build good, decent accommodation that isn’t out of the reach of practically everyone.”
Commenting on the implementation of the scheme across the country, the Vice President assured that the Mass Housing Programme will be provided across the country.
Prof. Osinbajo said, “We are hoping that we will be able to replicate this not just in Abuja but all over the country. So far, the Family Homes Fund is in 11 States, and they have given up land for the project.
“We are hoping that this year, we will be able to very rapidly improve the scale and speed of putting these houses in place. Once we are able to get moving quickly, we think we can make available several thousands of houses across the country and more people can afford to live in such houses.”
The Vice President noted that the job creation component of the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) would also be actualised through Social Housing Scheme.
His words, “Also important is the job creation aspect of it. You have young men and women who are builders, architects, civil engineers working on this project. We are hoping that a lot of the building materials will be locally fabricated especially the windows, doors and other components of the houses.”
The social housing scheme of Buhari administration is an important aspect of the plan by the federal government to address the housing needs in the country by building thousands of low-cost houses and in the process create wealth and jobs for youths that will be engaged in the construction of the houses.
Under the ESP, the federal government has mandated the Central Bank to provide financing for the housing scheme and a N200 billion facility has been approved as the first tranche already.
There would also be Rent to Own option as part of the administration’s resolve to impact the common man in this social housing plan expected to generate 1.8m jobs and deliver houses to about 1.5 million Nigerian families.
The implementing agency, Family Homes Fund (FHF) Ltd, an agency under the Federal Ministry of Finance, has already mobilised thousands of Cooperative groups across the country who will participate in the Social Housing plan as the main warehouse agents and also mobilize the low-income buyers. For instance, FHF has met with 93 Cooperative Leaders from the six geographical zones, under the aegis of the Co-Operatives Federation of Nigeria.