Wednesday, April 23, 2014

World Bank approves $300m for affordable houses in Nigeria – Minister

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The Minister of Housing said her ministry created 720,228 jobs in the housing sector in 2012.

The World Bank has approved $300 million (N45 billion) for the establishment of Mortgage Re-Financing Company to facilitate the provision of affordable houses to Nigerians.

The Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ama Pepple, said this while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.

The meeting was presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan

Ms. Pepple, who was represented at the briefing by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Ibrahim Mahe, said the mortgage company was being worked out by the Federal Ministry of Finance in conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

She expressed the hope that the company, when operational, would create about 200,000 mortgages across the country.

“That company is being worked out by the Federal Ministry of Finance in conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria and when it is formed eventually, the expected is that it will able to create more mortgages in the country.

“In the medium term, that company is expected to create 200,000 mortgages, in the long term, it will create much more,” she said.

The minister said that her ministry had delivered 8,069 houses in 2012.

She said the ministry’s prototype housing scheme had so far produced 256 houses in three cities of the federation, adding that the ministry had also entered into partnership with private companies to build houses in Taraba, Gombe, Kano and other states.

“The ministry is also building houses and selling them through banks and the Federal Mortgage Bank.

“The ministry has created a Public Private Partnership unit to work in partnership with the private sector to deliver houses to the people,” she said.

She said that N1 billion had been appropriated in the ministry’s 2013 budget for the upgrading of some urban slums in the country.

Ms. Pepple said that the ministry had issued about 2,131 Certificate of Occupancy between 2011 and 2012. She said the ministry also succeeded in creating 720,228 jobs in the housing sector in 2012.

On the challenges facing the ministry, the minister listed the issues of land procurement, land compensation, poverty, proliferation of slums, shortages of houses and multiple charges and levies on prospective and owners.

She said the ministry required N2 billion for the payment of compensation to owners of land acquired for the construction of its housing scheme across the country.

(NAN)

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