As some government initiated housing projects across the country near completion, the federal government has said plans were afoot to roll out these facilities to eligible Nigerians, pointing out that the criterion for accessing those homes would be the national identity card.
The project facilitated under the pilot national housing scheme with funding from federal mortgage bank of Nigeria (FMBN) is a mixture of blocks of flats and bungalows in the southern part and largely a suite of bungalows with one to three-bedrooms in the northern parts.
“There are federal mortgage bank funded projects around the country and one of them is our national housing project pilot. We are trying to find what people will accept and what they can afford. We are mindful that there are many empty houses around the country and we are still in that laboratory stage. We are also looking at how to roll out allocation,” explained Babatunde Fashola, the minister of Works, Housing and Power in a media interview at the weekend.
Although the basic housing structures are standing, the minister said the housing projects still await final infrastructure installations such as the estate roads, water supply system, mechanical and electrification structure.
According to him, some of the earlier goals that were set in terms of trying to industrialise housing in the country were already being met with most of the materials being used on sites, sourced locally from windows to cement, nails and roofing materials among others. These, he said, were drivers of the small and medium scale industry, which could not be separated from the contribution of the manufacturing sector to the gross domestic product in 2018.
However, the government has seen need to readjust its projects in terms of final cost of output without hurting quality as some of the models being adopted present challenges such as additional costs on roofing designs, excess space and others.
The government, according to the minister, is also working out solutions for individuals who prefer provision of lands compared with living in blocks of flats.
The new projects are expected to target low-to- middles income class, with the benchmark of the income group between those in level 8 and 14 in the public service, earning from N50,000 to N200,000.
The minister said the government has signed and issued over 2,400 certificates of occupancy as at April and has granted over 4,000 applications of consent to land, to enable building efforts outside government’s funding.
“We are working with professional bodies in the industry to check the trend of housing data on the number of houses that have been empty, at least a year. We are starting another round of buildings under the 2018 budget,” Fashola explained.
Credit: BusinessDay NG