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Big Question, Family Homes Fund Limited, Where are the 500,000 housing units created, Nigerians

Efforts by the Federal Government, FG, to ensure that deficit housing conditions seen in the country and the spate of unemployment among young Nigerians and other myriad of problems faced in the country are addressed, have been mired in controversy.

Oftentimes, Nigerians have bemoaned the high economic and social instability pervading the polity which are patent proofs that all is not well, as most of the situations bloom from corrupt practices. While many Nigerians are bent on accusing the federal government of not standing to stem the rot of corruption, others believe that although the government is making critical moves or policies geared towards ensuring national development, these steps are hampered by other forces in the government.

In Nigeria, housing policy has failed to respond to the needs of the urban poor – the cost of new housing, including that built by government agencies, is significantly in excess of what the largest segment of the population can afford.

The consequence is the rapid growth of informal settlements, slums on the edge of Nigeria’s major cities, with obvious drawbacks for economic development, health, safety and security.

The Federal Government had come up with an initiative of working towards doing things differently. The government identified mass house building as an important aspect of its Economic Growth and Recovery Plan, and more recently its Economic Sustainability Plan.

With a commitment to the housing deficit in Nigeria through an infrastructural development of 500,000 unit homes across the country and to create up to 1,500,000 new jobs with an amount gulping N1.5 trillion.

This mandate was given to the family homes funds limited which was registered in 2017 and commenced operations in 2018, as an acclaimed Africa’s largest housing fund focused on affordable homes for Nigerians on low income. But, from investigations, it has failed on its mandate to invest the N1.5 trn to build 500,000 homes for people on low income. It also failed on its mission to create up to 1,500,000 jobs and enable homeownership.

This failure came on the heels of promises made to Nigerians by the federal government that it would deliver 500, 000 housing units yearly, and that it would establish a vibrant mortgage system with a single digit interest rate to ease home ownership.

On his part, Goodluck Jonathan administration at the setting up of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) which, the government at the time claimed, would drag down interest rate to single digit in order to enable affordable housing delivery, ended up in futility.

Coming to the Buhari-led Administration and its promised to establish about 500, 000 housing, furthermore take many Nigerians above poverty line through massive job creation with an amount that gulped N1.5 trillion dedicated to a family Homes funds limited, which is under the ministry of Finance, many Nigerians are yet to be taken out of the streets as there is still visible housing deficit affecting the country.

Raising question, many Nigerian’s asking where are the housing units built by Family Homes Fund Limited.

From investigation, of the N1.5 trillion given to the family homes fund limited and additional two hundred billion naira pledged by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, during the COVID-19 pandemic period, to build Social housing units for Nigerians.

Before the current management of family homes funds limited, there had been about two MDs who during their watch failed to deliver on their national mandate to reduce housing deficit in the country, including other two finance ministers who also could not deliver on their ministerial duties.

Under the watch of the two MDs, and Ministers, of the 500,000 housing unit as promised by the federal government, only 13, 000 houses are allegedly built representing only two point six percent (2.6%) of their given mandate.

Yet, the current Acting Managing Director, MD, Sani Yakubu, in his time, is toeing the path of incompetency as he has woefully failed, having no capacity to deliver whatsoever.

Not only this, all past and present spearheads of the housing funds and family homes funds limited couldn’t deliver as a result of failure to partner with the private sector in housing development.

From this development, it is apparent the level of displayed incompetence by the current acting MD and a lucid indication he lacks the trait of patriotism to ensure that the country is taken to the right level of development.

This is coming on the heels that Nigeria contributes about 40 per cent of the housing deficit in Africa and this statistics is partly because the family homes funds limited have failed on its mandate to reduce housing deficit in Nigeria with the trillions doled out to it by the federal Government.

As a result of this development, Nigerians have been asking questions regarding the volume of funds doled out by the federal government for this project because the deficit housing mandate given to family home fund limited would expire in 2023,Yet the big question by Nigerian’s, where is the houses?

The issue of corruption has taken over the discussion of housing development in Nigeria, particularly in the family housing funds which many Nigerians trusted to take out the red alert of housing deficit in Nigeria.

Elder Nsikak Ekpenyong
A Public Analyst Writing from Uyo.

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