Ekiti, UN Agency Seal $2bn Deal for 50,000 Homes

Kayode Fayemi

Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

Ekiti State Government, United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and SHS Holdings have sealed a $2 billion deal for the provision of 50,000 affordable homes over the next 10 years.

A statement yesterday by the state government said with the deal, Ekiti State would join one of the largest affordable housing initiatives in the world.

According to the statement, all of the new affordable homes built would include renewable energy and disease preventative technology – including solar panel roofs, waste-to-energy technology and mosquito-repelling coatings.

Ekiti State is the latest to join one of the largest affordable housing initiatives in the world, part of UNOPS Sustainable Infrastructure Impact Investments (S3I) – which would deliver 1.3 million homes across multiple countries on three continents over the next decade.

The partnership would create thousands of local jobs at the factory and on construction sites and would spur economic growth among a host of local industries.

As part of the agreement signed yesterday, UNOPS and SHS would seek to mobilise resources from third party investors to fund the initiative whose gross development value (based on the sales value of completed homes) is estimated to reach $2 billion. SHS would supply proprietary state-of-the-art technology and would oversee the development of housing by qualified contractors.

UNOPS would bring to bear its comparative advantages in areas such as infrastructure, procurement and project management.

The agreement provides that Ekiti State Government would identify and allocate suitable land for potential developments and help create an enabling environment for foreign direct investment and mortgage finance.

Speaking on the programme, Governor Kayode Fayemi said: “We are very excited to partner with UNOPS and SHS to deliver affordable housing to the people of Ekiti State. This partnership will not only deliver 50,000 homes in our communities, it will also increase foreign direct investment into Ekiti State, and put thousands of our people in jobs.”

Also speaking on the partnership, the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Chief Executive of S3I (Sustainable Infrastructure Impact Investments), Vitaly Vanshelboim, said: “We are very pleased to support this contribution to Nigeria’s national development priorities and in particular, to help meet the critical need for affordable housing, through innovative approaches to construction and mortgage financing.”

On his part, the Chairman of SHS Holdings, Dr. Allen Zimbler, said: “SHS Holdings is proud to participate in signing a collaboration agreement with Ekiti State Government of Nigeria and UNOPS in respect of building at least 50,000 sustainable housing units for key government employees and other eligible citizens, in sites, to be identified within the state.”