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Promoting Good Governance.

Fashola adopts cooperative societies to achieve housing need, create jobs

THE Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola on Thursday says it is adopting a new approach, use of cooperative societies as an avenue to realise housing need of Nigerians.

This approach, he stressed, could help generate more jobs through every player across the chain.

“We have resolved to use cooperatives as the vehicle to achieve more construction in many states in order to expand the scale of construction, and therefore maximize the scale of opportunities,” Fashola says.

He disclosed this at the ongoing eight meetings of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development with the theme,” Housing Development and Consumer Credit as Strategies for National Prosperity.”

According to him, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) would drive the initiative by providing construction and acquisition finances.

Nigeria currently has about 22 million housing deficit. It was 17 million as at 2015. Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President had in September 2017, expressed worry on the increasing rate. He described it as unacceptably high.

As part of efforts to fix the challenge, the Federal Government secured a $150 million World Bank loan facility through the Federal Ministry of Finance. It used its money to setup Family Homes Fund but till date millions of Nigerians are still living in slums or rented apartments.

However, Fashola who emphasised that cooperative groups have thrived in several sectors such as transportation, agriculture, trades and markets including among artisans said supporting them could help deliver more affordable housing.

“We think it can be successful in delivering large scale affordable housing if cooperatives acquire their own land, design what they want to build, get state urban planning approval, and federal government gives them, through the FMBN, loans to construct and loans to members to buy.”

He said the government would also issue backlog of certificates of occupancy and consent to land transactions ( 3,000) and (1,708) respectively.

He also appealed to the 36 states commissioners for Land and Housing who had visited to attend the annual meeting to identify registered cooperative groups as well as keep proper data of them.

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