By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has tasked a pan-African housing finance and development finance institution, Shelter Afrique, to take a leading role in financing the provision of affordable housing in Africa.
Mr Fashola gave this charge when he received a team of Shelter Afrique at his office in Abuja recently.
The organisation, led by its Chairman, Mr Chii Akporji, and its Managing Director/CEO, Mr Thierno-Habib Hann, visited the Minister to discuss the Annual General Meeting (AGM) taking place in Abuja in May.
The former Governor of Lagos State used the occasion to appeal to the board to strengthen and safeguard the organisation’s corporate governance credentials as it moved into a new phase.
He mentioned that as a major stakeholder, Nigeria would continue to hold Shelter Afrique to the highest standard of governance, as this is critical in unlocking further investments into the organisation.
From May 8 to 11, 2023, Shelter Afrique will hold its annual gathering in Nigeria, and according to Mr Hann, Nigeria has a critical part to play in addressing the affordable housing crisis in Africa.
“Nigeria is one of the key markets for us. Besides being the second largest shareholder after Kenya, Nigeria has one of the biggest housing needs in Africa, and we are certain that if we get it right with Nigeria, we shall have gotten it right with the entire continent,” he said.
On his part, Mr Akporji thanked the Nigerian government for “supporting the delivery of its mission of providing decent and affordable housing for all in Africa.”
“We deeply appreciate the role Nigeria has played in safeguarding the organisation and the role you have played personally in being a vanguard and a voice of reason for the shareholders.
“I’m glad to inform you that preparations for the 42nd AGM are on course as the invitations have already been sent out through your office, and the Shelter Afrique team is working on garnering the required quorum for a successful meeting,” he added.