The intervention by the Family Home Fund (FHF) in the Nigerian housing sector to deliver affordable housing to low-income earners in the country will significantly improve the GDP and economy of the states where the intervention is already yielding fruits, people familiar with the Fund have said.
EchoStone is a property development firm that deploys an innovative technology which allows rapid and scalable construction of houses. It is currently building 2,000 housing units beginning with 250 units of two-bedroom detached bungalows in Idale Badagry, Lagos. FHF is to build 20,000 housing units in Lagos.
So far, about six state governments including the FCT have donated land for the development of various numbers of housing units, including Ebonyi State which has donated land for developing 1,200 homes.
Kaduna State has also donated land for its millennium city which promises about 650 homes; the ancient city of Kano has 757 homes; Asaba, Delta State, about 620 homes; Ogun State, about 1, 074 homes; FCT, about 580 homes, while Akwa Ibom has donated land and signed MoU with the fund for the construction of 5,000 low-income houses.
There is an expectation that through a combination of these housing development activities, 1.5 million jobs will be created for both skilled and unskilled labour that will be working at the construction sites.
Analysts say the creation of 1.5 million jobs will have significant impact on the economies of the states, more so with the multiplier effect of job creation.
“When you give job to one person, you shall have impacted the lives of about four or five more persons,” noted Johnson Chukwuma, a civil engineer.
He explained that, one way or another, part of the income earned by these workers goes to the state government by way of paying taxes or other levies, stressing that a state with healthy citizens is, by implication, a wealthy state.
FHF, which is arguably the largest affordable housing-focused fund in sub-Saharan Africa, was in Lagos recently and, according to Femi Adewole, its managing director, its mission to Lagos was to explore a potential partnership for a large-scale affordable housing scheme with a specific focus on Lagosians on low income.
“Alongside good quality homes, the programme will be looking to create jobs for Lagosians. Other aspects of the scheme include a commitment that we are not just to build housing units; we also need to look into the environment and climate change issues which now stare us in the face,” Adewole said.
He assured of the fund’s commitment to the provision of affordable housing, disclosing that they had invested over N20 billion in housing projects to support Nigerians who are earning below N100,000.
“We are also providing financing for developers who will build homes ranging between N2.5 million to N5 million,” he said.
Besides providing funding for the product suppliers, the Fund also aids the demand side by assisting house buyers, giving them a deferred loan for up to 40 percent cost of the houses.
The Fund supports local content in the house-building process and Adewole disclosed that their long-term objective was to ensure that up to 80 percent of manufactured inputs were locally produced.
Source: Chuka Uroko
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