Minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola says Cooperative Societies are critical tools to achieving affordable housing for Nigerians.
Fashola said this at the inauguration of Wood Hill Estate under the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) Cooperative Housing Development Loan, in Abuja on Monday.
He said that the partnership between cooperatives, subscribers, developers, and banks was helping to address housing deficit in the country.
Fashola however, acknowledged the problem of housing deficit in the country which he said government was addressing.
He noted that the deficit was more noticeable in the urban centres than in the rural areas because of the existence of empty houses that were beyond the purse of those that need them.
“Those empty houses speak eloquently of the problem that federal mortgage bank and the cooperative societies are trying solve concerning of affordability.
“In most instances you find that the empty houses are too big, too small or too expensive to meet, or a combination of both for the wallet of the off-taker.
“But, today because of our strategic partnership with cooperatives and the federal mortgage bank, the Buhari government is addressing the question of affordability.
“Therefore cooperatives have become a very critical tool to address this problem. Cooperatives have worked in many other sectors of our national life.
“They have worked in agric, transportation and business sector, and we thought as a policy it is something that we must now engage,’’ Fashola said.
Fashola also used the occasion to inaugurate the National Cooperative House Development Scheme.
He said that the idea was for people to acquire their own lands, organise themselves into registered cooperatives and get titles of the land from their state governments.
“This is to ensure that no successive governments destroy their houses with the excuse of being a slum.
“Once this is done, go to any Federal Mortgage Bank in any of the 36 states of the federation and you are sure to get a loan.
“We would be using the energy of cooperatives as voluntary societies to help people build what they want, what they can afford and what they can sustain.’’
Dr Adewale Adeeyo, Chairman, Board of Directors FMBN, earlier said that the bank was intensifying the National Housing Fund (NHF) membership drive through cooperative societies to reach out to Nigerians in the informal sector who constitute the greater percentage of citizens.
He urged cooperative societies to mobilise their members to register as contributors to the NHF scheme which could open opportunities to owning their own houses.
Adeeyo said that the bank was committed to sustaining all efforts to ensure FMBN retained its enviable position as the foremost mortgage institution in Nigeria.
Also speaking, the Managing-Director, FMBN, Mr Ahmed Dangiwa, said that NHF scheme was meeting its mandate of delivering houses that were well-built, decent and affordable to Nigerians, especially the medium-and low-income workers.
“FMBN was encouraged to revamp its cooperative housing development loan that advances construction loans to housing cooperatives.
“This estate is the first cooperative estate that will be commissioned by FMBN out of many that are nearing completion.
“I appreciate the confidence of Akacare Multipurpose cooperative society reposed in FMBN, you have given us the opportunity to once again prove that the NHFS scheme is a reality and is working,’’ Dangiwa said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the project was a collaborative effort between Akacare Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society and M/s Perfect Estate Developers.
The project is in two phases with a total of 154 units comprising of 80 units of two bedrooms semi-detached bungalows and 74 units of three bedroom detached bungalows.
NAN reports that the phase one had been fully completed with 40 units of two bedrooms semi-detached bungalows and 37 units of three bedrooms semi-detached bungalows.
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