The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has formally marked the official kick-off of the National Cooperative Housing Development Scheme (NCHDS) with the inauguration of a Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) funded 154-housing unit Cooperative estate in Kuje, Abuja.
The affordable housing project, named WoodHill estate, is a product of FMBN’s N997 million Cooperative Housing Development Loan to Akacare Multipurpose Cooperative Society for the construction of 154 quality, decent and affordable housing units for its members that are registered contributors to the National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme.
A statement signed by the Group Head, Corporate Communications, FMBN,
Ahmed Abubakar, explained that under the first phase of the project, 77 housing units were completely built and packaged for the provision of NHF loans to members of the AkaCare Cooperative Society. This comprised 40 units of 2-bedroom semi-detached bungalows at the selling price of N7.5M and 37 units of 3-bedroom detached bungalows at the selling price of N9.5 million.
In his remarks at the event, the FMBN MD/CE, Mr. Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, stated that the inauguration of the housing project was an affirmation that the NHF scheme was meeting its mandate of delivering houses that were well-built, decent and affordable to Nigeria workers, especially those within the medium and low-income bracket.
Dangiwa, added that the estate was fully serviced with basic infrastructure including an internal road network, electricity and water works to create a conducive and livable environment for residents.
He assured Fashola, that the second phase of the project was on course to deliver the additional 77 housing units and that FMBN would provide additional finance to complete the 2.1-kilometer access road.
“This is our socio-economic contribution to opening up this area of Kuje for other real estate developments. Already at about 17 jobs per unit, this project has created 1,309 direct jobs to the local environment,” he said.
The FMBN boss thanked the minister for his leadership and aggressive drive to deepen cooperatives as a veritable tool for the provision of affordable housing to Nigerian workers.
In his address at the event, Fashola, said: “FMBN as an agent of the Buhari administration is addressing the problem of housing affordability frontally. I commend the Board and Management of FMBN for this first in a series of many events that define our new partnership with Cooperative Societies.
“Yes, we have come to commission a housing estate and I commend the architect, the property development company, the cooperative members and the subscribers.
“This string of partnerships, including subscribers who want a house, who are ready to pay for it, who can afford it; the developer who is committed to delivering it, an architect who can meet the needs of the subscribers and most importantly a bank that can translate their dreams and vision into an actual homestead, where people can say I have shelter, is important and we want to do more of it.”
The minister decried the prevalence of empty houses in Nigerian cities, saying they speak to the problem that FMBN in collaboration with the Developer have solved for members of Akacare Cooperative Society.
“You will hear that 150 houses are already fully subscribed. That means they are affordable. You will hear that 77 units have been delivered, that means there is a waiting list for a house that has been paid as distinct from an empty house that nobody can afford.
Also, the Chairman, Board of Directors, FMBN, Dr. Adewale Adeeyo, pleaded for the increase of FMBN’s capitalisation to N500 billion.
He noted that the injection of the funds would boost FMBN’s capacity to scale up its activities and make a greater impact on tackling the housing deficit.