The Federal Government has earmarked N100bn to finance the construction of 40,000 units of housing under the ‘renewed hope’ agenda and upgrade of slums and urban renewal and provision of developmental infrastructure and facilities across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
This means each building will be constructed at the cost of N1.25m.
This is contained in the N2.18tn supplementary budget for the 2023 fiscal year approved by the Federal Executive Council on Monday.
Recently, the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ahmed Dangiwa, said the government would construct 34,500 homes nationwide to boost access to decent, quality, and affordable housing for all Nigerians.
He said the project code-named “Renewed Hope Cities” will comprise one to three-bedroom bungalows and multi-level flats catering to the housing needs of low and medium-income earners and will be built using a blend of public-private partnerships, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, and the Federal Housing Authority.
Dangiwa noted that with this project, the government will create over 240,000 jobs in line with the president’s goal to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
He said, “In our plan to deliver the Renewed Hope Agenda for Housing, one major area where we seek your support and collaboration is the provision of land. Under the first phase of our Renewed Hope Cities Project, we plan to build about 34,500 houses nationwide using a blend of FMBN, FHA, and Public-Private Partnerships.
Meanwhile, experts in the building industry have expressed mixed reactions to the budget, noting that the current cost of building materials may affect the implementation of the project.
The experts, reacting via the Housing Development Advocacy Network WhatsApp chat, advised the government to focus on social housing in a specific area for workers in the formal and informal sectors.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at Fame Oyster & Co. Nigeria, Femi Oyedele said, “Maybe they want to construct 40,000 studio apartments with wooden boards as walls and timber windows. N1, 250,000 is just about the labour and materials costs of plumbing and electrical works of a 3-bedroom bungalow.”
Continuing he advised, “Yes, we need houses but not in the way we are pushing it. We need social housing but it should be in strategic areas for now. I will suggest we start with Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
“In Lagos, let the government develop two units of 25 storey building with each floor having two studio apartments, two 1-bedroom flats, four 2-bedroom flats and two 3-bedroom flats in Adeniji Adele area or around Ajenifuja Street, Obalende.
“In Abuja, let the government build the same number of the same structure and design at Garki II and in Port Harcourt, a similar structure and the same number in D-Line. Each building must have five lifts; three will be working while two are on reserves. The low-rise designs built in new towns and outskirts of the cities cannot work as they are not working already.”
On his part, John Olubayo applauding the government for providing additional funding, queried: “Why do we keep throwing money at the same problem without taking time to review previous initiatives to see what was achieved and what lessons can be learnt going forward.”