Kingsley U.N Chikwendu
President of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Dr. Aliyu Wamako has said that the association’s scheme, ‘Rural-Urban Housing Initiative’(RUHI) 744 aimed at producing 774,000 housing units across the Nigerian nation, will reduce deficits in housing provision. Dr. Wamako while speaking with View Point Housing Media, said the scheme stands to reduce the adverse economic effects posed by the Covid-19 pandemic that ravaged the world.
Although, reducing the housing deficit in the country, he said that this initiative also aims at providing housing at cheap rates, as it affords job opportunities for the unemployed.
“The objective of this initiative is not only to reduce housing deficit in Nigeria but, to create job opportunities for our teeming youth and I believe once we are producing a house, one can create at least 25 jobs, and we are willing to create at least 2,500 in each of the local governments’’, he said.
‘’We are trying to make the houses cheap, not in terms of how much they will cost but, we want to structure the repayment period that will be longer; we are looking at the payment of 15,000 per month for twenty years”
On how the association intends to go about a project of this magnitude, Wamako said support is expected from the government and other professional bodies, “we have support from the federal government and Family Homes Fund, Wamako continued.
“The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria has also bought in and will provide mortgages for the houses to be created. Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) also has a stake and will refinance the mortgages to be created.
“We are equally collaborating with the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) and other professional bodies in the country to make sure that the houses are built to standards in all the local governments. We are expecting the professional bodies to provide technical supervisory roles while producing these houses in all the local governments.
“We have also, collaborated with the off takers of these houses, the paramilitary organisations, the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) and they have given us strong buy-in into this project which we are sure there will be a return of investment”.
The REDAN president also said that part of the reasons for these collaborations is aimed at ensuring that the houses produced under RUHI scheme would be such that will embrace local content. He also said that in letters written by the association to all building materials producers across the country had some in replies, given a 25 percent discount on the materials to ensure that the houses are affordable.
On when construction will commence for these projects across the nation, he assured that before the year runs out, construction will commence in states like Gombe, Ekiti, Sokoto, Kaduna, Taraba, Delta, Cross River, Kebbi, Lagos and Edo. Parcels of land are already acquired, Wamako concluded.