*As FMBN provides 524 units
BY CHARLES KUMOLU
THE alarming challenges facing the Housing sector in Nigeria was recently a major issue in Katsina State, where many converged to point the way out of the crisis.
Unlike familiar talk-shops that had often been convened to discuss the matter, the Katsina convergence was specifically to provide realistic responses to the housing question in the state that has about 6,483,429 people.
And that manifested in the commissioning of a Mass Housing Estate under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) program, in a development some said indicated that the volume of financial and non-financial resources invested by the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN, in the state has so far been successful.
On hand to perform the commissioning which is in line with the Ministry’s mandate of delivering 800,000 housing units annually was the state governor, His Excellency, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari (Dallatun Katsina).
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. George Ossi, who was represented by the Managing Director/Chief Executive, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Gimba Kumo said the event, signified the successful delivery of the first phase of the nationwide housing project embarked upon by the Ministry. This is in addition to two other programs undertaken by FMBN in the State through Estate Development Loan (EDL) to Katsina Housing Authority, and the Ministerial Pilot Housing Scheme.
Known as Public-Private Partnership, PPP, Mass Housing Program, Ossi said its completion in Katsina, testified to the huge potentials and benefits derivable from creating partnerships between the public and private sectors of the economy.
The FMBN, it was learnt, provided the institutional guarantee required by the developer, Engr. Mubassir, to secure construction funding for the project.
Though a federal project, it was gathered that the state government cooperated with the Federal Government in ensuring that the plan came to fruition.
Apart from providing unencumbered land for housing development, Katsina is known to be among the few consistent with its contributions to the National Housing Fund, NHF.
Speaking in that light, Ossi said: ”It is gratifying to note that to its credit, Katsina State recorded the first ever completed Ministerial Pilot Housing Scheme Estate project commissioned in 2013.
”Apart from the 46 units delivered under the first phase of this project, it gives me great pleasure to inform you that FMBN has delivered an additional 524 housing units in Katsina State through loans advanced to the Katsina State Housing Authority for 272 housing units and to a private developer under the Ministerial Pilot Housing Scheme for 252 houses.
”I am, therefore, confident that the faith in the NHF Scheme has been sufficiently justified by the volume of financial and non-financial resources invested by the Ministry and FMBN in Katsina State so far.
”It is expected that when fully completed, this PPP Mass Housing Estate will deliver 130 housing units. I commend the developer, Engr. Mubassir, for his professionalism and efficiency in the timely completion and acceptable standard of this project. Please, keep it up.”
”I wish to appreciate the support of the Katsina State Government and assure you of our willingness to partner in delivering more affordable housing units to the citizens of the State and indeed, all Nigerians.”
He further said: ”To the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and in particular, its personnel who are predominant beneficiaries of this housing project. You are indeed witnesses of the effectiveness of the NHF Scheme which is the most affordable home ownership vehicle for low and medium income earning Nigerians.”
The Katsina outing was also an avenue for Ossi to highlight the contributions of the FMBN toward tackling the housing crisis in the country.
Accordingly, he said: ”As institutions of the Federal Government, both the Ministry and FMBN have collaborated through various programs for the delivery of affordable housing to Nigerians.
”These include the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Mass Housing Program and the Ministerial Pilot Housing Scheme, to mention a few. Under the Ministerial Pilot Housing Scheme, the Ministry and FMBN will deliver over 4,000 housing units in 34 various estates at very affordable prices.”
In addition, he added that: ”At the national level, FMBN is tirelessly working to deliver on its mandate. It has already delivered over 25,000 housing units and more than 15,000 mortgage loans to Nigerians. What the Bank requires is the cooperation of all Nigerians, especially contributions to the NHF Scheme as mandated by law, through which it raises low-cost funds to finance housing development.”
It is our believe that with the new energy infused in this very critical sector by all stakeholders, under the coordination of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, the challenges of the housing sector will soon be addressed adequately.