Nigeria, Iran to partner in provision of affordable houses

 Nigeria’s minister of housing says 17 million Nigerians do not have homes.

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The Minister of Housing, Lands and Urban Development, Akon Eyakenyi, on Friday said Nigeria is willing to partner with Iran in the provision of affordable houses in the country.

The minister made the disclosure when she received an Iranian delegation led by its Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade, Mohammad Nematzadeh.

Ms. Eyakenyi said Nigeria’s large population results in housing challenges.

She said the 17 million Nigerians do not have houses.

“We have realised that it is not possible that government alone can provide the housing needs of Nigerians.

“To cover that huge gap, it is our responsibility to look elsewhere to see how we can draw partners from outside the government to intervene in this sector,” she said.

She said the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan is committed to addressing the challenges in the sector.

The minister added that government had provided the lead way, by providing an enabling environment for other countries to invest in the sector.

“We have the land, which we can provide and we also ensure conducive environment for investors.

“We also ensure that there are off-takers to pick up the housing units when completed, while our developers and partners provide the funding.’’

The minister said the partnership would ensure that prospective investors do not only provide funds but timely completion of the housing projects.

The Federal Government, she added, had funded various housing initiatives aimed at providing affordable housing for citizens. She listed some efforts made by government as the ministerial pilot scheme and prototype housing scheme.

She stressed the need for investors to use technologies that would encourage affordability.

Earlier, the Iranian minister said the delegation’s visit to the ministry was to seek ways of investing in the housing sector in Nigeria.
(NAN)


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