In its bid to provide affordable housing and improve the living condition of Nigerians, the federal government has revealed plans to provide over one million direct and indirect jobs through the provision of an estimated 40,000 housing units within the first phase of its Renewed Hope Agenda for Housing.
The minister of housing and urban development, Arc. Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, stated this on Thursday while delivering his speech at the 50th Anniversary of Federal Housing Authority of Nigeria (FHA) in Abuja.
He reiterated that the FHA will also play a key role in the Ministry’s New City Development Plan.
Dangiwa who said the Ministry plans to lead partnerships with the private sector, local and international investors, towards redefining the concept of cities in Nigeria and decongesting city centers and state capitals, added that the New City Development Plan aimed to deliver Renewed Hope Cities ranging from 1,000 housing units per site in one location in each of the six geo-political zones of the country and FCT.
He named Abuja, Lagos, Kano, as well as Borno, Nasarawa, Rivers, and Enugu States as the selected states, saying the remaining 30 States will have Renewed Hope Estates each with a minimum of 500 housing units.
While calling on the FHA to wake up to its responsibilities, the minister lamented that in the Authority’s 50 years of existence, records showed that it has only delivered a cumulative of just over 50,000 housing units, showing an average of 1,000 houses per year in 50 years. This, he said, was clearly not acceptable, especially from Nigeria’s foremost housing agency that has so many institutional advantages that it can leverage to deliver more results.
“The Renewed Hope Cities will have inclusivity at their core. Overall, we aim to deliver under this phase 1, a total of 40,000 homes from a mix of sponsors comprising the Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development’s budgetary allocation, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), and through Public Private Partnerships with reputable developers in the delivery of the new cities. Ownership Options include Mortgage Loans, Rent-to-Own and Outright Purchase. At 25 jobs per unit, the first phase of the project will create direct and indirect 1,000,000 jobs helping to achieve the target to lift 1million Nigerians out of poverty,” he stated.
In his address, former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), said the idea for establishing the FHA by his military administration in 1973 was one of the regime’s post-civil war social services aimed at providing shelter to Nigerians.
While commending the FHA for its efforts and achievements of the decades, General Gowon noted that shelter is still a priority today as it was 50 years ago, stressing that even more so in view of recent rapid population growth.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Managing Director of the FHA, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, stressed that the Authority was already implementing operational reforms in the areas of digitization and process optimisation, noting that they must build on the successes of the past to deliver more houses to Nigerians that are decent and affordable.
He outlined some of the Authority’s recent achievements to include the securing of its lands as well as recovering of all encroached estates, the completion and commissioning of the Zuba Housing Estate with a dedicated independent injection power station that services the entire estate and started the construction of the phase one of the Bwari Housing estate as well as the commencement of the FHA Golden Jubilee estate in Mbora District of Abuja.
By Bidon Mibzar
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