By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Federal Housing Authority, (FHA)Senator Gbenga Ashafa said that the authority needs approximately N500 billion Naira to intervene in building more affordable housing to Nigerians in the six geopolitical zones.
Ashafa made the disclosure at the weekend during a press conference to mark the forthcoming FHA ‘s 50th anniversary.
Ashafa noted that in this 50 years , FHA has contributed immensely in bridging the gap of housing deficit by offering houses to citizens.
He noted that, the aurhority has tried to live up to its mandate of providing affordable housing to citizens especially when it was under government budgetary allocation and is still able to do more if it is provided with the funds.
He said FHA has contributed over 149,000 housing units nationwide in its 50 years of existence adding to national housing stock.
“When it was a civil service entity with funds from the government, we were able to do so much and that was how we kick started the Diamond Estate Projects, FESTAC Town, Abesan One, Four, Five and Six.
“We moved to Ogun State and we have built so many estates. Here in Abuja, we have a lot of projects especially when a lot of civil servants were moving to the capital.
“A lot of funds were available and we were able to build 49,000 units of houses in direct construction housees by FHA. Also, over 100,000 units have been built when you look at partnerships with private developers all around the capital city and other states.
“In total, we would be looking at over 149,000 units of housing built in 50 years and we are prepared to do more with the renewed hope model that is coming in.”
Ashafa said they have also commenced the construction of 340 units of houses in the first phase of their Bwari Estate in Abuja, adding that they are going to replicate its Rent to Own Delivery Model that were used on previous estates.
While stressing that at inception of the Authority in 1973, it had operated smoothly and was able to provide affordable housing to Nigerians until successive government policies impacted negatively on its operational efficiency.
He explained that some of the interventions includes FHA estate projects geared towards meeting the housing needs of high, middle and low-income earners, in such areas as Zuba,, Mboro, Bwari, Kabusa, Maitama 2, all in the Federal Capital Territory, while the same plans are on top gear in the six geographical zones in the country.
” We have commenced the construction of 340 units of houses in the first phase of our Bwari estate, near the Nigerian Law School, Bwari, Abuja, where we intend to replicate our Rent to Own Delivery model we startef from Zuba estate.
” In commemoration of this Golden Jubilee cerebrating, we have commenced with the construction of Golden Jubilee Estate in Mbora District of Abuja. This estate would be replicated in all the zones of the country, with that of Lagos being the next on the line, ” he said.