The African Farmers and Cultural Organisation (AFCO) a Non Governmental Organisation( NGO) has revealed plans to address 17 million housing deficit in the country with 5.5 million housing units for Nigerians.
The President/Founder of AFCO, Prince Chukwunwike Esiole,at the formal unveiling of the firm in Lagos over the weekend, said there is a need for the company to address deficit of over 17million housing in the country, hence his organisation planing by targeting about 5.5 million low and affordable housing units in the next 10 years.
Esiole, added that over the next 10 years, the rapid growth of Nigerians urban population is expected to thrust new demand for infrastructure, especially in the area of housing and other social amenities.
Nigeria, he regretted, has failed to keep pace with its growing populace and therefore did not design adequate measures to create affordable housing. “This is why AFCO decided to fill this yawning gap with the homeownership scheme.”
The AFCO Homeownership Contribution Fund, he emphasised, is an avenue through which individuals can save for their rent and also have the opportunity of owning a house. “The Housing Contribution Scheme because AFCO has set up mechanisms to address the housing needs of the Nigerian public towards empowering the low income businessmen and women by educating them on access to soft loans from federal government loan scheme through Bank of Industry while also encouraging agribusiness owners to own a house of their choice for life.
Unlike other schemes, he assured that it won’t be business as usual as there are clear guidelines for the processing of prospective applications. “The process will not be politicied as each applicant is entitled to a flat. Nobody will be entitled to two or more units no matter your status or connection. AFCO would also ensure that whatever is implemented has an African inclusion attached to it because there is need for a clear-cut idea and focus to place our people at the centre of everything we do.”
Esiole , expressed that partners from the World Bank and other multilateral agencies are also involved in the initiative to ensure its sustainability.The Chairman AFCO, Uchenna Ohaegbu,who also spoke to the Guardian said the Housing Contribution Fund initiated by AFCO, seeks partnership with government ministries and the organised private sector to actualise its laudable objectives.
According him ,the housing loan scheme can be accessed through Bank of Industry via Appzone, a credit club in collaboration with Sterling Bank, while stating that AFCO is planning to recruit over 1,000 workers to reach Nigerians on the capacity to access loans across the country.