Determined to encourage Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, the federal government has stated its readiness to collaborate with private sectors and utilize locally manufactured building materials for its National housing project.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola who stated this shortly after a working tour of some affordable housing development sites and related companies in the Federal Capital Territory noted that government would explore all the options available across the country to facilitate the project.
The Minister said there is a need to consider the cultural delineation of people before building houses when he added, “You can’t be building houses for people that are vulnerable and pretend that they are not there”.
He expressed satisfaction at the level of work done at the sites even as he harped on continued patronage of made in Nigeria technology in order to fulfill the federal government desire to diversify the economy and create employment.
Fashola said that the tour was in fulfilment of his commitment at the Shelter Afrique Summit in Abuja where he pledged to visit some developers committed to providing affordable housing to Nigerians.
According to him, “I decided to go to the factories and sites to see what they have been doing and to see whether what they were doing corresponds with what they told me.
Expressing satisfaction at the progress of work at the estates, he said, “We need them to adapt their moulds to fit our own designs because we want to control our designs and we don’t want multiple designs except those we have agreed on because the basis for industrialisation is when the designs are uniform.
Fashola who kicked against the country’s housing deficit noted that the most important factor was for the plans to work to ensure sustainability.
“When your plans work, deficit will become history but if your plan doesn’t work, deficit will just compound it because if you get to the top ten, you are better than the person who is not ranked”.
“Whether President Buhari is there today or not, we will measure the success of that design by its sustainability. Deficits don’t bother me, they have been there and we can talk about it and it won’t go away”, he concluded.
At Lafarge Africa Plc construction site Idu yard, the head of Affordable Housing, Jumoke Adegunle said that it took a minimum of 18 days to build the 2 – bedroom bungalow using foam work technology.
She pegged the 2- bedroom bungalow at N5 million while the studio apartment which the company built in Lagos was also sold at the cost of N 1.7 million.
Adegunle noted that Lafarge housing units would promote federal government’s target on affordable housing delivery in Nigeria.
LEADERSHIP also discovered that the housing unit were built using polystyrene tucked wire mesh at Polystyrene Industries Limited Idu.
The Technical Adviser of Polystyrene Industries Limited, Engr. Samuel Afful affirmed that polystyrene does not absorb and shrink.
He said that a 3-bedroom bungalow goes for N4.7m depending on the finishing.