Government to review housing fund, recapitalise FMBN

Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HoCSF), Winifred Oyo-Ita Ekanem (left); Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) (right)and Chairman, Urban Shelter, Aliyu Ibrahim, during the opening session of the affordable housing summit 2016 with the theme Developing a Blueprint for Affordable Housing Delivery in Nigeria organised by the ministry and the German Development Co-operation in Abuja… yesterday.

Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HoCSF), Winifred Oyo-Ita Ekanem (left); Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) (right)and Chairman, Urban Shelter, Aliyu Ibrahim, during the opening session of the affordable housing summit 2016 with the theme Developing a Blueprint for Affordable Housing Delivery in Nigeria organised by the ministry and the German Development Co-operation in Abuja… yesterday.

The Federal Government is to review the National Housing Fund (NHF) and also recapitalise the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) in order to boost access to mortgage for Nigerians.

Also, the Federal Government has reformed the Pension Laws to allow off-takers use part of their pension to secure mortgages

Minister of Power, Housing and Urban Development, Babatunde Fashola who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at the National Summit on Affordable Housing, said that government plans to embrace new technologies, by developing quicker methods of building, adding that government would adopt the use of foam-work technology which allows blocks of flat in eight weeks and bungalows in about four weeks.

He noted that these measures would help in reducing the deficit in the country, which is put at over 17 million.

Fashola observed that the ministry has reviewed methods for implementing the national housing policy, such as initiatives by the Federal Housing Authority and our PPP initiatives, through Development Lease Agreements (DLAs).

The minister noted that while the ministry may retain the initiatives with modifications, it must develop something new and different that is useful for reducing our housing deficit.

“This will help to diversify our economy, grow our SME and local capacity, evolve into something that is sustainable in the sense that the majority of Nigerians can benefit from, by getting them on the housing ladder, and also benefit any of them employed in the process.

He stated that internal reappraisal reveals that since inception, FHA has built about 40,000 housing units in approximately 40 years adding that DLAs and PPPs over a decade, under the Construction Finance Initiative, targets delivery of 21,008 housing units with a current delivery of 2,750 completed units so far.

Fashola further observed that the ministry’s appraisal shows different designs of houses originated by different contractors that do not necessarily meet the market needs and are therefore not attractive or affordable by the off-taking public.

He noted that with land under the control of states, the Federal Government can only do so much and would evolve design, approve the concept, support SMEs to produce materials locally and provide incentives that will enable the private sector play more actively through the capital market and other funding sources.

Fashola emphasized that our housing must be tied to our income, which must be tied to our jobs adding that this is the way to create credit that our housing industry desperately needs.

According to him, “We cannot speak of national transparency if a large number of our people pay one or two years advance rent, when they receive salaries in arrears monthly. This is one of the reasons why many houses are empty, because of the advanced payment, and not only because of the huge rate of rent”.

Also speaking, Head of Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita urged stakeholders in the built industry to support the Federal Government’s efforts and intervention in the housing sector in order to reduce the high cost of accommodation across the country.

She noted that the Federal Government has developed FISH intervention programme for affordable housing delivery for civil servants adding that the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation (OHCSF) recently signed MOU with CNTC for 1000 houses as pilot phase and another 1000 units to be signed by FISH.



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