Fred Itua, Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has revealed said plans are underway to close the housing deficit in the Nigerian capital by coming up with a rent-to-own scheme which would allow low-income earners access to affordable housing.
The Managing Director of Abuja Property Development Company (APDC), Lawal Aliyu Magaji, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at a media parley.
He blamed the rising cost of houses in the territory to the cost of building materials as well as challenges posed by the unfavourable exchange rate climate.
He said the APDC is looking at the railway corridors in the Territory with a view to building affordable houses in such areas to allow other categories of low-income earners live in a place from where they can access their work stations easily.
‘We are trying to come up with a rent-to-own scheme. Instead of paying rent to a landlord, how about paying for you to own the house ultimately? We are going to work on that. But it is going to be a tripartite thing between the off-taker, his organisation and then the APDC as the developer because we need to have that agreement so that when people are exiting the service, we will be notified that he is leaving and then his entitlement will have to be kept until he liquidated or we take out the cost of the building.
‘We have the intention of doing social housing and that has to be done with the FCT Administration to see that the cost of those houses is brought down. We also want to build houses for low-income earners.
‘If you are a big man and you stay in Maitama or Asokoro and your driver or cook stays in Keffi or Suleja, of course, you cannot function well.
‘We are looking at the railway corridors. The light rail as you know has started test running. We intend to have affordable houses around the corridors. That would allow people to hop into the trains and go to work in any part of the city.’
Magaji disclosed that the agency was also partnering with other groups in the area of affordable housing.
‘One of the challenges we have is the rising cost of building materials and when land is allocated, it comes with a lot of encumbrances which have to be factored into the cost of these houses. If you are given a land that has the infrastructure and it does not come with any encumbrances in terms of payment of compensation, of course, the prices of the house will come down. The finishing materials of some of these houses have to be imported and you know the issue with foreign exchange now.
‘However, we are working with groups who are trying to proffer some other solutions, providing locally made building materials that we can use here or getting some of these companies to come and establish their plants here and produce these materials locally. This will go a long way, with the support of the government, to bring down the cost of the houses.
‘Our houses are open to all Nigerians irrespective of their background or white they come from. Our main focus is [on] affordable housing.
‘On the Eagle Square car park, we are managing it on behalf of Abuja Investments and it is on lease to us. We pay them about ₦40 million per annum and we run the facility. We pay for all the services, security, cleaning etc an also make our own profit,’ Magaji added.