Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that under the Buhari regime, the Economic Sustainability Social Housing programme has built 19,478 out of its targetted 300,000 units for Nigerians.
This is as he said, the regime remains determined in its vision to build a nation where low-income earners have the dignity of a decent home and livelihood.
Osinbajo spoke on Friday in Masaka, Nasarawa State, at the commissioning of 248 housing units and commemoration of the 1,000th home built by the Millard Fuller Foundation, MFF.
Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement he signed on Friday titled ‘Vibrant housing market will boost Nigeria’s economy, people’s livelihood – Osinbajo’.
The Vice President, who described the commissioning as “a watershed event in the important work of providing housing for Nigerians who need it most,” said while the challenge of inadequate or no-housing undermines the quality of life of many Nigerians on a low income, it also denies the economy and, therefore, the collective welfare the growth that is possible through a vibrant housing market.
He maintained that the Buhari regime takes the challenges seriously by addressing the concerns. The most recent initiative, being the N200bn National Social Housing Programme under the N2.3tn Economic Sustainability Plan, aimed at delivering homes for Nigerians on a low income, as well as providing jobs for the local industry.
According to him, to ensure that these initiatives are sustained, the Federal Government is in the final draft stages of a comprehensive 10-year National Housing Strategy.
He revealed that under the ESP Social Housing programme, which will create up to 300,000 homes, 18 States have so far given land for free, while 19,478 homes have been built, including 582 purchased from the Millard Fuller Foundation.
“We are negotiating another 400 homes with them: the one-bedroom self-contained costs N2m and N3.2m for the two-bedroom. We negotiated with Dangote, BUA and Lafarge to give the Family Homes Fund cement at a 30 per cent discount. So we now have low-cost cement.
Highlighting the Millard Fuller Foundation’s housing units in Nasarawa State as an example of private sector partnership with the Government in reducing the social housing supply gap, Osinbajo expressed hope that “it can serve as a model for many others to follow, with the potential for creating homes that are affordable to Nigerians on a modest income, particularly our young people as they start out in life.”
In his remarks, Governor Abdullahi Sule thanked the Vice President for finding the time to commission the housing units and “to share in the joy of the beneficiaries, especially those of the Fuller Foundation,” describing the gesture as a demonstration of the VP’s care for the people.
Sule also commended the Federal Government’s effort to find solutions to the challenge of affordable housing and gave assurances that the State Government is committed to fixing the access road to the housing estate.
Earlier, the National Director of the Millard Fuller Foundation, Sam Odia, who described Osinbajo as a “man who has a heart for the poor,” expressed appreciation for the Vice President’s presence to commission the housing units.
He added that the foundation is working with the Family Homes Fund to advance the cause of social housing in Nigeria.
Also present at the event were the Managing Director of the Family Homes Fund, Mr Femi Adewole; the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Infrastructure, Ms Imeh Okon; officials of the State and Karu Local Government Council; the Etsu Karu, Luka Panya-Baba; and representatives of partners in the project, among others.