Federal Low Cost Housing Estate
By James Emejo
The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) has approved the commercialisation of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA).
Consequently, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development had been appointed to chair the steering committee constituted to work out details of the exercise.
This was one of the fallouts of a recent meeting of the Council, which was held in Abuja. The NCP said the decision was taken to address the huge housing deficit in the country.
The FHA is a parastatal under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, established in 1973 and vested with the responsibility of preparation and execution of a National Housing Programme as may be approved by the Federal Government from time to time.
FHA has a wholly-owned subsidiary, FHA Homes and Savings Limited, which serves as its Primary Mortgage Institution (PMI) with the mandate to maintain savings and mortgage loan accounts of customers.
However, the noble objective of the Federal Government to use FHA and its subsidiary as vehicles for bringing affordable housing programmes to the doorsteps of the less privileged and low income earners in Nigeria has yet to be achieved.
Since its inception about 40 years ago, the FHA has been able to build only about 37,000 housing units in 80 estates across the country (an average of less than 1000 houses per annum).
Currently, the housing deficit in Nigeria is estimated at 17 million units.
Studies show that the organisation is handicapped by a number of challenges, including historical operating losses; teeming legacy debts; Poor internally generated revenue (IGR) base and inability to effectively function without government funding.