Fresh building blocks were again laid unto the housing sector last week, when the pan African housing institution, Shelter Afrique endorsed an agreement to support a private sector led effort in the construction of 3,000 unit housing programme in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The deal was sealed at the sideline of the 35th Annual General Meeting and Symposium of Shelter Afrique in Abuja between the Managing Director of Shelter Afrique, James Mugerwa and Chief Operating Officer, Afro – Asia Shelters International, Francis Onwuemele in the presence of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.
Under the scheme, the company would provide 3,000 residential accommodation to the Nigerian public particularly the Nigerian worker in public and private sectors in the second phase of the Rock City II Jibi in Greater Abuja area. This phase will cost about N55 billion with Shelter Afrique contributing 59 percent while Chicason Group will contribute 41 per cent of the project cost.
The Rock City II development is following after the N110 billion Rock City 1 in Lugbe currently under construction by Rock of Ages Properties Ltd, a subsidiary of Chicason Group. The company is developing decent residential estate across the country in partnership with the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC).
During the signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Mugerwa noted that Shelter Afrique remains committed to the shared vision of the founding fathers of the organization, which is to tackle the ever growing housing deficit in Africa.
He said: “The objective of providing affordable and quality housing to all is at the very heart of our mandate — it is the core of our operations.
“I am happy to inform you that as we continue in our quest to deliver on that objective, we have created new systems and drafted and put into operation a new strategy.”
Onwuemele said that Shelter Afrique, as a credible financial institution in Africa has recognized the contributions of his organization to the development of the housing sector and has agreed to partner with them by providing the required funds at a friendly rate.
According to Onwuemele, his organization has acquired 443 hectares of land at Lugbe, Abuja from the Federal Government for the expansion of their mass housing scheme.
He disclosed that the funds coming from Shelter Afrique will go a long way in helping them to fastrack the partnership his organization entered into with the TUC to provide affordable housing to Nigeria workers.
It would be recalled that Shelter Afrique have signed an MoU with the Nigerian Police Force, Customs Coop of Nigeria and Real Estate Developers Association (REDAN) for the delivery of affordable housing. In the units to the police force cooperative, the parties would execute a housing programme with a 25,000 benchmark in view, with the first phase delivering 3, 000 units between Abuja, Lagos, Ogun and five other operational zones.
In the agreement with Customs Coop of Nigeria. The two organisations will ensure the successful delivery of 5, 000 housing units for members of the Co-operative. Under the terms of the understanding, Shelter Afrique is expected to provide advisory services and funding while the Coop is expected will provide off take guarantee and equity contribution in the amount and timeline required by Shelter Afrique.