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Govt Plans Portal For Sale Of Houses

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.

BEVERLY HILLS, May 07, (THEWILL) – The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing has explained its plan to unveil a dedicated web portal for the sale of buildings to Nigerians in the next few weeks.

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who spoke at the ninth meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development in Jos, Plateau State, stated that the platform would enable contributors to the National Housing Fund (NHF) access mortgage loans on a first-come-first-served basis.

He said the ministry was currently at the completion stages of the first phase of the national housing programme in 34 states of the Federation, which provided land for it.

“We urge the state governments to alert their residents to this opportunity for interested persons to apply,” he said.

Fashola told the council to consider cooperative housing as part of their discourse and recommendations for affordability and accessibility to housing in the country.

He commended the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) for driving the cooperative housing initiative at the federal level, adding that it was advantageous because cooperative members could choose designs and build to fit their budgets.

Fashola disclosed that FMBN as the driver of the housing initiative engaged 86 cooperatives in projects, approved N35.784 billion cumulatively, disbursed N10.95 billion, processed (as at January) 57 co-operative housing development loans.

Fashola, who was represented by the Minister of State, Abubaker Aliyu, stressed that what the Federal Government could do directly in housing was limited compared to what states could do.

He said that state governments were also limited, compared to what the private sector and individuals could do.

He said: “The majority of houses available for sale or rent belong to individuals and private companies compared to what states or Federal Government has available.

“Therefore, many of the tenants who owe rent, who face eviction or who seek to rent or buy property are dealing with private citizens or companies and less so with government agencies.”

The Minister urged private developers and individuals, who build houses for commercial gains, to ease off the cost, which they controlled, to enable Nigerians to afford homes in this COVID-19 era.