The federal government yesterday moved to deliver the first phase of its projected 300,000 affordable housing units with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Family Homes Funds Limited (FHFL) to build 1,000 housing units in Bwari, Abuja.
At the signing ceremony in Abuja, the Managing Director of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Senator Gbenga Ashafa, noted that the project will also generate thousands of jobs in fulfillment of President Muhammadu Buhari's plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
Ashafa stated that since he assumed office a few months ago, the FHA had initiated strategic collaborations with some public sector players and state governments, including the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and the Lagos State government to ensure the smooth execution of his plans for the organisation.
"The FHA is proud to be the first public agency to demonstrably key into the social housing vision of Mr. President with today's signing of a partnership agreement with FHFL as we collaborate to deliver the first 1000 housing units of the laudable mass housing project," he said.
He added that the FHA has started the process towards full electronic documentation and full digitisation of its system, for better service delivery and response time.
According to him, the organisation will also review the law establishing the FHA, which has become obsolete, considering the modern trends in housing provision and development as well as improved budgetary provision for the authority through the supervising ministry.
The Managing Director of Family Homes Funds, Mr. Femi Adewole, said it was impossible to boost housing opportunities in the country without partnerships.
"From the outset, it was clear that a critical aspect of FHS fulfilling its mandate of facilitating financing into the affordable housing market was partnership. We understood that it was impossible to build alone or attempt to do so since our role is to facilitate funding and not to directly build houses.
"We see this as one of the most important partnerships in the delivery of affordable housing for Nigerians. The FHA is perhaps the nation's largest landholder for housing and has a strong track record of delivering large scale housing, the type we believe is critical to achieving the hope of government," he stated.
He pledged to support the FHA in exploring innovative housing solutions and opportunities and to create a formal rental sector for those who are initially unable to access financing.