Shelter Afrique invests N22.5bn in housing

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A pan-African finance company, Shelter Afrique, has spent over N22.51bn on housing initiatives in Nigeria, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. BabatundeFashola has said.

In a statement made available to our correspondent, the minister said that between 2005 and 2010, Shelter Afrique in Nigeria had financed 23 initiatives with a total sum of N10.435bn ($52,175,000) and another N12.08bn ($60,400,000) over the last three years on 10 interventions.

“Of these initiatives, 15 represented lending for construction of housing projects, out of which the largest was for $7m for 376 houses of different types; and 251 service plots, followed by 287 mixed housing units for a cooperative society; 55 housing units and 100 service plots and the least was for 16 maisonettes. This is the intervention on the supply side of housing to provide houses,” he said.

He added that the remaining eight interventions were for mortgage financing to building societies, credit line for individual mortgages and related financing, on the demand side of housing, to provide finance.

Fashola said that out of the 10 interventions in the last three years, seven were for housing construction, including 287 units, 90 units, 15 floor commercial complex, 59 housing units, 300 housing units, 130 apartments and 44 housing units.

“The remaining three interventions were for equity investment in the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company of about $3m; and credit lines for on-lending for mortgage totalling $13m,” he said.

The minister said, over the years, the country had embarked on a series of housing initiatives but not one of them had been pursued with consistency or any measurable sustainability.

He added that the unsustainable efforts must change, and give way to a sustainable and well thought out initiative led by the government and subsequently driven by the private sector.

He said, “The first key to our roadmap in housing therefore is planning. We must never be tired to explain the necessity and importance of proper planning. It is the key to successful execution; it is the key to project completion; it is the key to cost control and reduction in variation requests and financial calculations.

“A plan is what is needed and it is what we are currently developing to make the housing policy a reality. Our plan requires first a clear understanding of who we want to provide housing for.”