*Photo L-R: Permanent Secretary, Works and Housing Ministry Babangida Hussaini and Minister of Works and Housing Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN
Works and Housing Minister, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, has revealed that 7,315 applications have so far been received for the purchase of the Federal government’s National Housing Programme within the first week of launching the online portal.
Fashola who was speaking before the Senate Committee on Housing, Thursday, November 18th, 2021, declared ” As at today, 7315 applications have been received so far and the number is still growing.”The Minister explained that the Ministry had been working and progress at selling the houses to the public had been recorded, hence the online platform was launched inorder to be open and transparent in the sale of the houses and avoid unnecessary interference by some vested interests.
Fashola stated that the categories of the houses are different from what is available in the open market. Fashola who noted that the type of houses being offered for sale were generous interms of space added that one bed room is 60sqm, 2 bedroom 76sqm and the 3 bedroom has 110sqm pointing out that the size is larger than what is obtainable in other developers.
On the prices, Fashola said, ” There are 1,2, 3 bedrooms, some of which are bungalows while others are flats. The minimum house is N7.2m and the highest is about N16m ” Fashola stated that the Ministry carried out a survey to come up with the type of houses Nigerians desire to live in to avoid the unfortunate incidence in the past where some houses that were built were at variance with the peoples need.
Speaking on the rational behind launching of the online portal for intending buyers of the houses, he said ” our thinking is based on experience and what we think is right. This is a digital age. If we buy air ticket and book hotels through the internet we believe we could do the same in applying for the houses.” He however added that the system may not be perfect just like every other human endeavour but the Ministry had done what is believed to be best practice at the moment.
On the requirements for purchase, the minister listed ; passport photographs, tax clearance and means of clear identification, N10 thousand application fee amongst others. He also stated that it is not possible for one to buy more than one house.
On why the prices of some of these houses differ in different states, Fashola cited difference in topography and cost of building as the determining factors, as the cost of building houses in Bayelsa for example is higher than doing same in Osogbo.
While responding to question on the affordability of the houses, the Minister said, “Affordability is not just a function of the cost but also the mode of payment, that is why we have created the rent to own option of payment.” he said.
The Senate Committee Chairman on Housing, Senator Sam Egwu, commended the Minister on his commitment to the housing delivery for Nigerians.