Sterling Bank Plc has urged architects in the country to design buildings that are affordable for low-income earners so that the bank can collaborate with them.
Mr. Yemi Odubiyi, its Executive Director, Corporate and Investment, stated this in Lagos recently as a guest speaker at the closing ceremony of the Lagos Architects Forum 2019 with the theme: Architectural Regeneration 2, the Lagos Response.
“We are willing to support the housing sector, but will only partner with you as long as you continue to create affordable housing designs.
Our immediate focus are housing units that are less than N4million and can even be lower over time. The challenge we are throwing at you is to design buildings that are affordable which we can finance at scale,” Odubiyi said.
The Executive Director observed that the bank’s presence at the architects’ forum was not by chance because it has always been keen on finding a solution to the country’s affordable housing problem. He disclosed that Sterling Alternative Finance (SAF) is well positioned to lessen the country’s housing deficit.
On his part, Gbolahan Lawal, the Lagos State Commissioner for Housing, who represented the state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, advised members of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) Lagos chapter, and all stakeholders present, to give priority to the design and development of affordable housing.
Lawal stated that location is primary in making housing affordable. He said: “So, in your design, you should always consider where you are going to locate the houses. In the Ministry of Housing, we have done a lot in this wise. The BRT buses that we have today, from Ikorodu to Marina, is related to affordable housing. That is what we are promoting at the Ministry of Housing and I want you to factor that into your plans for creating affordable housing projects in Lagos State.”