President of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Dr. Aliyu Wammako says all is clear for the take-off of a mass housing project across all 774 Local Government Areas of Nigeria.
Wammako who made this known in Abuja while speaking exclusively to HealthInformatics.TV in Abuja said the project which was billed to take off much earlier was only delayed by the Forex regulations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He explained that the challenge with the Forex regulation has been surmounted through an agreement with Shelter Afrique – a pan-African financing facility in the housing sector – to open a bond with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to the tone of 500 million dollars which is almost 250 billion naira to be used to execute the proposed housing project.
According to him, the move is in line with the drive to contain the housing deficit in Nigeria which has caused most citizens to live in inhabitable places resulting in various health hazards.
“We are projecting at least 6000 housing units in each of the six geo-political zones. What was wasting the time was because we could not take money from Forex. And that is why we have agreed with Shelter Afrique to open a bond with the Security and Exchange Commission to the tone of 500 million dollars, which is almost 250 billion and that is what we are going to use to create this houses.
“Towards effective health environment, we identified urban centres, rural areas and semi-urban centres that will be pruned to severe weather problems and health situation most especially in the villages and that is what gave us the room to think of an initiative that we will build at least habitable homes in all the 774 local government areas of this country, about 100 in each local government area.
“And this aimed at giving a boost to a healthy living environment and also allow government to create a hub and provide economic empowerment to these liveable communities which includes health issues, and also give room those in the villages to copy the live within an environment of an estate. I am doubtful that you could find estates in some local government areas. We want to teach people the way to keep their environment clean, how to stay safe, safety issues and all of that. This is why we intend to create these houses.”
The President of REDAN also spoke on the current world concern on Global Warming. He said REDAN is working in partnership with government and other stakeholders to ensure houses built in Nigeria are eco-friendly.
Wammako revealed that members of REDAN are admonished to compulsorily plant trees in their estates and also promote the creation of green areas to help sustain the environment and support good health.
“Government is always budgeting for housing most of the year and the housing deficit in Nigeria is what matters. People are not even after a healthy environment, they are after where to put their heads. That is why we have around us so many people that are in the villages, in the shanty towns, those people who migrated from the villages to the cities – there are not living according the standard if you go the Ebutemeta or Karmo you will see them.
“So it is synonymous with the living condition of the people. In the aspect of health, the importance cannot be over emphasised because once the environment is not clean, you don’t expect a house somebody is living in to be clean. That is why we always advise to follow the extant rules and regulations that govern the approval of any house.
“We are working in synergy with the FCDA; we hold a campaign on tree planting and we have been doing this thing every year. This is in order to achieve a green environment which resultant effect is a smart home. Regarding renewable energy, there are so many researches going on and we encourage most of our developers to see how they will be able to provide solar at a cost effective rate. And we have entered into synergy with many solar production industries to see how we will be able to manage without the national grid which is not even consistent, so we will be able to produce a smart city.
“So there is no developer in Nigeria that you will not find out in the past rainy season has not planted trees. So every year, even myself I do it in all my estates and advise fellow developers to do same.”
He reiterated REDAN’s commitment to promoting a housing system in Nigeria that ensures health security for all citizens.