•Launches online application portal, promises fairness
Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The federal government yesterday officially launched an online platform for its National Housing Scheme (NHS), effectively preparing the ground for the sale of over 5,000 housing units in 34 states of the federation.
Speaking at the event in Abuja, Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, noted that the new portal was expected to facilitate home ownership and rental schemes in both urban and rural areas.
Of the 36 states, it was learnt that while Lagos State is yet to provide the government with land for the scheme, Rivers State is expected to join in the phase three of the project.
The minister called on Nigerians to leverage the opportunities granted by the federal government under the programme to own apartments in any parts of the country of their choice.
While stating that the over 5,000 houses across 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are currently at different stages of completion, the minister noted that that access to affordable houses had remained a challenge for many Nigerians.
He said: “As you know, we have houses scattered across the country that are not occupied. This is because people have a preference for different building styles. In the North, the people there prefer bungalows, while the South prefers blocks of flats.
“So first, what we did was to carry out a survey to know what kind of houses Nigerians want to live in and that helped us to formulate relevant policies for the project.
We currently have over 5,000 units at different stages of completion.”
Stressing that the size of the houses range from between 1 to 3 semi-detached bungalows and 1-3 bedroom, the minister noted that the flats will be sold for between N7 million to N16.19 million each, adding that payment can either be made through a mortgage or any financial system of choice.
He added: “The least selling price for each of these houses will be N7.222 million, and the highest will be N16.19 million. The highest is a 3-bedroom bungalow, it is not just the house but it also has land along with it. The bungalows are a little more expensive than the blocks of flats which do not have additional land.
“There are some slight price differences in the blocks of flats built in the riverine and swampy areas, for example, houses in Edo, Bayelsa.
“This is the first time we have a platform that every Nigerian has access to. This provides an opportunity for all Nigerians to apply and ensure a fair process of allocation. We will soon start the official handover and tape cutting as the subscribers come in. We have maintenance and facilities managers in all the estates.
“We introduced the online portal from which the national housing programme will be offered to members of the public. The forms are online and allow for more openness, limits human interventions, and hold us more accountable. The endgame is an economic objective.”
He said that the research done by the ministry was instrumental to the implementation of the federal government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), explaining that contractors handling the projects are wholly Nigerian.
“No international contractors were involved. We have 1,000 contractors from Nigeria. It also gave the contractors an opportunity to sustain their staff. Also, all materials for the project were locally made materials,” he said.
The minister urged Nigerians to register online via nhp.worksandhousing.gov.ng, listing the requirements for the application as a passport photograph, current tax clearance payslip, letter of recommendation, means of identification and evidence of 10 per cent initial deposit, which he said was for mortgage subscribers only.
He added: “Applicants can also take a virtual tour of the property they are interested in. They can apply and register with email and phone number. Upon verification, they can complete their application.
“We have included the abridged drawings of each estate. When an allocation is booked on the online portal, it will show that it is no longer available. This way we will avoid duplicity.”
In his remarks during the event, President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Mr. Mustapha Isah, lauded the initiative, noting that the launch of the portal will give all Nigerians equal access to owning houses.
Added to that, Isah said that it would further ensure transparency and accountability in the entire process and urged Nigerians to key into the scheme, follow the instructions and register on the platform.
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FG Set to Commence Sale of 5,000 Housing Units in 34 States – THISDAY Newspapers
•Launches online application portal, promises fairness