Washington, DC — Agreement offers prime example that business goes on despite Nigeria's current challenges, including a close presidential election, Boko Haram violence, and depreciating currency due to falling oil prices.
International Green Structures (IGS Ltd) and Nigeria's Countrywide Housing Company (CHC Ltd) today along with the Nigerian delegation met with the Export-Import Bank of the United States about a $5.7 million pilot project to build sustainable housing in Kano, Nigeria.
His Highness Muhammadu Sanusi II, Emir of Kano, is in the United States for this meeting. The project, which is to build 504 low-cost houses in Kano, is supported by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in West Africa. IGS and PwC West Africa came together as members of the Initiative for Global Development's (IGD) Frontier Leader Network.
"We are honored to be entrusted by His Highness Muhammadu Sanusi II to be a part of the drive to solve the housing crisis in Nigeria," stated Richard China, CEO of IGS, an American company that offers a unique technology to use rice straw and other agricultural waste products to create quality building materials. The IGS housing structures, which will be assembled in a matter of days upon delivery, are expected to be one of the first housing developments to take shape in Kano with a US manufacturer and supplier.
Nigeria has an urgent need for effective affordable housing solutions. According to The World Bank, Nigeria would need 17 million houses to address the current housing deficit crisis. This housing crisis is particularly acute in Nigeria's northern regions, including Kano State. "We believe housing will address some of the underlying issues in the economy, and see that IGS offers us one of the most cost effective and best quality solutions," said Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II.
The current business deal between IGS and CHC in Kano was initiated at IGD's 2014 Frontier 100 Forum in New York, where IGD brought together IGS and PwC to discuss a potential partnership in West Africa aimed at addressing the region's housing crisis. "We were pleased to bring these two parties together as housing is a crucial driver of an economy and an essential element in building a strong middle class," noted Dr. Mima Nedelcovych, CEO of IGD.
Nigeria is currently facing several serious challenges, including a closely contested presidential election, violence from Boko Haram, and a depreciating currency due to falling oil prices. "This important agreement and the visit of His Highness Muhammadu Sanusi II to the United States prove that despite these challenges, business in Nigeria continues," added Dr..Nedelcovych.
ABOUT THE INITIATIVE FOR GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT (IGD)
The Initiative for Global Development (IGD) is a 501(c)(3) organization that drives poverty reduction by catalyzing business growth and investment in the developing world. IGD brings together an influential Frontier Leader network of CEOs and senior executives with the interest and capacity to make strategic investments in high-need, high-potential regions of Africa. IGD's signature Frontier Leader Network, which includes companies such as IGS and PwC, shape global frontier insights, promote business-driven development, and create economic growth in Africa. Learn more: www.igdleaders.org.
ABOUT INTERNATIONAL GREEN STRUCTURES (IGS)
International Green Structures (IGS) offers a total economic model that solves the global housing crisis. By converting agricultural residue into durable panels and pairing it with pre-engineered framing system, IGStructures can be produced creating green, innovative structures for houses, schools and health care facilities. IGStructures are ideal for permanent or temporary housing, rapid response, and global humanitarian structures. Learn more:
ABOUT MUHAMMADU SANUSI II, EMIR OF KANO
His Highness Muhammadu Sanusi II became the Emir of Kano on June 8, 2014. He is the former Central Bank Governor of Nigeria; highly respected for his commitment to transparency, his effort to fight corruption, as well in salvaging a crumbling financial sector, and putting Africa's most promising market back on the map for investors. He was given the global award for Central Bank Governor of the Year, as well as for Central Bank Governor of the Year for Africa. TIME magazine also listed Sanusi in its list of 100 most influential people of 2011.