By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN, has said that formation of cooperative societies would increase affordable housing in the country.
Fashola, who disclosed this yesterday when members of the Senate Committee on Housing paid an oversight visit to his ministry, said that those working in the formal and informal sectors should form a cooperative group to build houses for themselves.
“ People can go to the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigerian(FMBN)and Federal Housing Authority (FHA) to register as a cooperative and do a design they want ,collect loans and go to government for approval”, he said.
The minister, who gave a breakdown of the housing sector budget for 2019, said that the total appropriation was N83.761,180,646.
He stated that N43,966,228,795,23 was released, adding that N33.4billion, was expended in the year under review.
Speaking further, the minister explained that the ministry had used the funds judiciously by doing various project such as building affordable housing, construction and rehabilitation of federal secretariat, among many other projects.
“Over 3000 houses are under construction in the 34 states remaining just few works to be completed “.
Fashola said that maintenance increases the value of property, adding that it had created job opportunities for small and medium enterprises.
“The maintenance policy has created jobs for over 5, 0000 people across board and has reduced the impact of poverty,” he said.
He, however, said that one of the major challenges on the national scale “is that more revenue is needed to fund infrastructural development”.
Earlier, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Housing, Senator Sam Egwu, said: “It is our constitutional duty to checkmate activities of the ministry and see how it has implemented what we gave it as budget”.
He called on the ministry to send proposal to his committee to enable the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) to perform optimally.