BY CHRIS EKEKE
In an aggressive move to reduce housing deficit in Nigeria and break the barrier of high-cost of housing, Defence City Project, a Nigeria-based continental housing firm has launched a new project – to build 200,000 units of homes in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Project consultant to the company, Sanusi Maikudi Garba who made the disclosure, said the 200,000 units is in the pilot scheme of the
company. “In each state, we are hoping to have 1000 units. We have also started construction work in FCT,” he said. He made the remarks yesterday while presenting achievements of the company in housing development to delegates at the ongoing 6th meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development, with the theme: “Building For Inclusion, Growth and Prosperity”.
He told the stakeholders who throng the NAF Conference Centre in Abuja that Defence City Project was given birth to out of the housing
scarcity in the country. “We realized that the problem kept coming without reduction. That was why we decided to partner the state governments to build houses that will be affordable to all citizens.
We are working with the communities. We give 5 per cent discount of the houses to the host communities,” he added. Right now, Defence City Project partners with Federal Mortgage Bank, and other foreign partners who are also bringing the funds to realise the rent-to-own project to fruition, he said. “You can gradually pay for your house while you are living in it. We can create a room for up to 15-years for repayment, depending on what your take-home is,” Garba said, restating that the company’s audience remains the general public. “We only started with the Ministry Of Defence but later resolved that we need to carry all Nigerians along. What we realized is that you need number in housing sector.”
While state governments are not expected to participate in funding the construction of the “Defence City Project”, Garba said the states are
welcomed to join for a Public Private Partnership (PPP). “State government is expected to allocate a piece of plot to the company to the size of 100-200 hectares,” he added.
Head of PPP unit in the Federal Ministry Of Power, Works and Housing, Mrs. E.O. Alozie told the participants that efforts are being made to
collate Real Estate Data for professional planning, management, government/private sector intervention and use in the country, and that it is being championed by REDAN, CBN, and FMPW&H amongst others. Regretting that relevant data that would ordinarily guide national
development and create support systems to aid investors, developers, individuals, social, physical and economic planners, especially “the
built industry are sadly and regrettably unavailable.” Alozie said, “The dearth of these essential data prompted the three aforementioned
agencies to synergize to address this anomaly.” She argued that the 17 million housing deficit being cited in the media in the country is not supported by any empirical research findings or facts.
She observed that lack of a well-managed and accurate real estate data information system “is a great disservice to our quest as a country
towards attracting foreign direct investment in the built sector, develop the needed manpower in the sector, plan for the future development of actual housing needs of our people.” She therefore called on the various states to cooperate in the collation and analysis of housing data in the country.
Represented at the event, permanent secretary in the ministry, Mohammed Bukar urged the participants to allow the federal government’s sustainable development goals and New Urban Agenda to be their guide in the five days meeting. He said the meeting affords them the opportunity to address the myriad of issues facing the sector including lack of proper planning and unemployment.