Business - January 3, 2021

Cement manufacturers agree on discounted price for social housing project

About 1.8million jobs to be created while about a 1.5million Nigerian families across the country.

Cement manufacturers in the country have agreed to supply the commodity at a discounted price in support of the Federal Government social housing scheme, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo announced at the weekend.
The social housing scheme is an important aspect of the plan by the Federal Government to address the housing needs in the country by providing thousands of low-cost houses for low-income earners.
The initiative will also help create wealth and generate 1.8million jobs for the youths that would be engaged in the construction of houses for about 1.5 Nigerians million families across the country.
Under the scheme, the Federal Government plans to construct about 300,000 units of housing for low-income earners in the Federal Capital Territory and other parts of the country.
Already the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been directed to provide financing for the housing scheme, with an N200billion facility approved as the first tranche for the project.
The VP who spoke during his inspection visit to the completed model houses in Dei Dei at the Federal Capital Territory said the gesture by the cement manufacturers would go a long way to ensure the success of the Social Housing Scheme under the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP).
With such support, VP Osinbajo said it was indeed possible to deliver decent and affordable accommodation for the low-income earners in the country.
After inspecting the prototypes of the one-bedroom and two-bedroom bungalows, the VP commended the quality of design of the houses considered very affordable to some categories of workers.
On those qualified to participate in the scheme, he said, were those earning a monthly pay of average about N30,000, apart from the readiness to spend a third of that amount.
The various housing units cross the country consist a one-bedroom unit in addition to a two-bedroom unit, both coming under N2 million.
The implementation of the scheme across the country is part of the Federal Government Mass Housing Programme across the country.
“We are hoping that the Federal Government will be able to replicate the construction of these houses not just in Abuja, but all over the country. So far, the Family Homes Fund is ongoing 11 States that provided land for the project,” the VP said.
“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,” he said.
He expressed the hope that the completion of the housing units this year would go along way to rapidly improve the housing situation in the country.
The Vice President said the construction of the Social Housing Scheme would help actualize the job creation component of the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) initiated to cushion the impact of the coronavirus on the Nigerian economy.
He said young men and women have been recruited as builders, architects, civil engineers working on this initiative, apart from several others involved in the supply of the building materials such as the locally fabricated windows, doors and other components of the houses.
Under the plan for social housing, there would be options, ranging from the beneficiaries renting to owning, as part of the government’s commitment to impact the common man in the society.
The project is handled by the Family Homes Fund (FHF) Limited under the Federal Ministry of Finance, has already mobilized thousands of Cooperative societies across the country to participate in the scheme.
The FHF, which is the main warehouse agent for the scheme has also mobilized the low-income buyers to show interest in the project.
Already, the FHF has held meetings with 93 leaders of various cooperative societies from the six geographical zones under the aegis of the Co-Operatives Federation of Nigeria over the scheme.
There is a provision for other categories of individuals who do not belong to cooperatives to also apply for the scheme.

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