With growing population, a lingering housing deficit and government’s continued inability to provide affordable housing in practical sense, stakeholders in the industry has posited that public private partnership initiative is the way out of the quagmire.
A former Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mrs. Akon Eyakenyi, acknowledged that affordable housing delivery for the low and middle income earners cannot be achieved without the provision of incentives to encourage private sector participation.
To build a house in Nigeria is a very expensive task due to the high cost of building materials. Affordable housing cannot, therefore, be achieved without a drastic reduction in the cost of housing construction and other associated costs, which invariably determine the selling price. Consequently, for affordability to thrive, emphasis must shift to reducing the cost of housing construction to promote access to affordable homes to the vulnerable segment of our national population,” Mrs Eyakenyi said
She then called on the organised private sector, manufacturing outfits, finance houses and multilateral agencies to support the drive for affordable housing delivery.
Similarly, Lafarge Africa Head of Affordable Housing initiative, Mr. Aurelien Boyer, explained that if the associated challenges to affordable house ownership are addressed, Nigerians could build more houses faster. This, he said, was what the firm set out to do with the Easy Home scheme.
The whole idea is to provide individuals with free technical expertise and demystify the idea of owning a home. Lafarge Africa provides free cost estimate i.e. Bill of Quantity and designs for prospective builders. We also connect them with sources of finance as well as artisans that will build at the least possible cost without compromising quality,” Boyer explained.
“The demand for housing outstrips supply in the low-income segment where most live in rented houses. Through Easy Home, Lafarge Africa is contributing to the reduction of the national housing deficit and helping to accommodate a large chunk of Nigeria’s population,” Boyer explained.
On his part, the Chief Quantity Surveyor, Strategic Business Development, Julius Berger Nigerian Plc, Mr. Adewumi Akinpelu, said the Public Private Partnership model is an agreement for the delivery of affordable housing is for the public good and must be viewed as an economic decision rather than political decision.