This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: 'Shelter Afrique to Provide U.S.$100 Million Capital for Housing'

Photo: Vanguard
Collapsed building Abuja

Abuja — President Goodluck has disclosed that his administration's housing programme will soon get a boost as Shelter Afrique, a private Pan African Housing Institution that offers housing finance, practical advice and assistance to developers and housing finance institutions, has pledged to bankroll the project with $100 million.

Jonathan made this disclosure Monday at the end of the Presidential Retreat on Housing held in Abuja. Although he said his vision is focused on providing housing, he pointed out that it is necessary to establish programmes that would make people self-reliant so as to make them be able to cater for themselves.

"The federal government is looking at some other angles pertaining to the funding of housing. When we think about new towns we must work with key industrialists. If you construct new towns without jobs then there would be problems," Jonathan said.

He declared that if the federal government is to succeed in providing housing for its citizenry, then the state governments too must lend support the programme in order to ensure that the objectives of the policy are realised.

"If we must progress in the housing sector then the state governors must cooperate because the federal government does not have its own land," the president emphasised.

He also stressed the need to create synergy and collaborate with all key sectors, saying "government is one and it is wise to unite all units to work for results."

While commenting on the role of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in the formulation and execution of the housing and urban development policies, he said: "This is the first time a minister of finance is involved in housing. It becomes imperative for the coordinating minister for the economy (CME) to lay out the basis of such retreats because the work of the finance ministry encompasses all the sectors."

According to him, his administration is "totally committed to making the results of all the retreats work", assuring that "actions will be taken on all the recommendations submitted to government."

The President who also indicated that the key areas on which there was consensus during the retreat was on how to get land added: "as a country we need to get a standard approach."

Meanwhile, the Director -General of Shelter Afrique , Alassane Ba, confirmed planned $100 million funding, noted that his organisation would work to facilitate the government's policy thrust in line with its corporate policy of promoting development of both residential and commercial housing in Africa.

Much of the money that will be provided by the Kenyan based organisation, is a form of venture capital that property development firms would access as loans to make the project work.

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