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FG completes 2,249 houses in five years, disburses N10.95b to cooperative societies

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Fashola

The Federal Government has said it has engaged 1,021 building contractors to complete the construction of 2,249 housing units since its inception in 2016. It also said it disbursed N10.95billion through cooperative housing development loans.

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, disclosed this at the 15th Abuja International Housing Summit (AIHS). He noted that the figures do not include other initiatives like public-private partnerships.

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Fashola, who was represented by Minister of State Aliyu Abubakar, explained that cooperatives could leverage their members to get group discounts for the purchase of building materials and engagement of contractors.

“It is evident that most houses available for sale or rent belong mostly to individuals and private firms compared to those state and federal governments have available. Therefore, many of the tenants who owe rent face eviction,” he said.

The minister said in cases where the rent of businesses or individuals is due for renewal, private landlords could help by accepting monthly, quarterly or half-yearly rent instead of one, two, or three years in advance.

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Also, Ghanaian Minister of State for Works and Housing, Dr. Freda Prempeh, noted that the economic crisis caused by the pandemic and the ‘Great Lockdown’ impacted negatively on global economic growth beyond anything experienced in nearly a century.

She said last year, the country began on a very optimistic note with a forecast gross domestic product growth rate of 2.4 per cent within the first quarter but the onset of the pandemic brought considerable human suffering and significant economic disruption.

On his part, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello, observed that, over the past decade, the administration witnessed an unprecedented increase in population and this has inevitably put a huge strain on housing, city infrastructure, and utilities.

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He said: “The result has been an increase in authorised residential dwellings such as shanties and slums as well as a spike in the attendant social vices that accompany such housing situations. We are taking bold steps by approving the FCT land swap programme.”

The coordinator of AIHS, Festus Adebayo, noted: “The challenges that we face as a country in the housing sector are enormous. Our housing deficit, though currently being debated, is estimated to be over 17 million units and is still the highest in Africa.”

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