SPEECH BY THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, ARC. AHMED MUSA DANGIWA, AT THE OFFICIAL LAUNCHING OF THE RENEWED HOPE CITIES & ESTATES PROGRAMME AND GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY FOR THE 3,112 HOUSING-UNIT RENEWED HOPE CITY IN KARSANA, ABUJA, ON FEBRUARY 8, 2024, BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PRESIDENT BOLA AHMED TINUBU, GCFR
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
1. First, I would like to seize this special occasion to publicly express my gratitude to His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, for appointing me as Minister and his confidence in my capacity to lead the actualization of his Renewed Hope Agenda for housing and urban development.
2. Mr. President, Sir, I consider your trust in me and my Minister of State and the task that you have placed on our shoulders as a huge honour and privilege. Since that appointment in August 2023, we resolved and committed ourselves to deploying our time, energies, resources and capacities towards delivering on this important national assignment.
3. And God willing, Mr. President, we will make your Renewed Hope Vision for housing a Practical Reality in terms of decent, quality, and affordable homes with infrastructure that support dignified living for our people, in the Federal Capital Territory, State Capitals, and across the country.
READ ALSO: Federal Mortgage Bank To Host Three-Day Retreat
4.That is why we have planned and commenced the actualization of this vision under the Renewed Hope Cities and Estates Development Programme, which your Excellency is officially launching today.
5. Under phase One, we plan to deliver a total of 50,000 housing units across Nigeria. The Cities will have 1,000 housing units per site in one location in each of the six geo-political zones in the country and FCT, while the Estates will have 500 housing units per site in the remaining thirty (30) States.
6. We have designed the Renewed Hope Cities as integrated living communities targeting all income brackets. They comprise one-bedroom blocks of flats, two-bedroom blocks of flats and three- bedroom blocks of flats; two-, three- and four-bedroom terraces, four-bedroom duplexes, and five-bedroom duplexes.
READ ALSO: Affordable Housing Projects To Generate Over 10,000 Jobs For Youth, Women
7. On the other hand, we have conceptualized the Renewed Hope Estates to cater to low- and medium-income earners. They comprise one-, two-, and three-bedroom semi-detached bungalows. To enhance affordability and ease of offtake, we used organic designs where one bedroom can be expanded to two-bedrooms and three-bedrooms as the income of beneficiaries increase over time.
8. Furthermore, the program aims to address social inequality by providing a broad range of affordable ownership options. This includes single digit and up to 30-year mortgage loans to be provided by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Rent-to-Own options where beneficiaries can move in and pay towards homeownership in monthly, quarterly, or annual instalments and Outright Purchase for high income earners.
9. The funding for these projects will come from a mix of sponsors comprising the Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development’s budgetary allocation, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), and Public Private Partnerships with reputable developers. As you will recall, Your Excellency has graciously approved the total sum of 126.5bn from the 2023 supplementary and 2024 budget for these projects including slum upgrade and urban renewal.
10. We have also made cross subsidy a key part of our efforts to enhance affordability for low-medium income earners to foster integrated living. Under this concept, the housing units built in the Renewed Hope Cities will be sold at commercial rate while a substantial percentage will be sold at concessionary rates to low- and medium-income Nigerians who are members of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress.
11. Your Excellency, the Renewed Hope Cities and Estates Programme is not only a grand vision; it is a necessity for many reasons. As our population continues to grow, the demand for housing and urban infrastructure is rapidly growing. Our existing cities are grappling with issues like congestion, inadequate housing, and strained infrastructure.
12 . Establishing new cities and estates also provides an opportunity for us to deliberately plan and design urban spaces that are not only beautiful additions to our landscape but also efficient and sustainable. This is more so given the climate challenges that we face and ensure that the housing sector contributes its quota to helping our country meet its green gas reduction targets. At the Ministry, we believe that implementing green building techniques, efficient waste management, and creating green spaces can contribute to a healthier and more environmentally friendly urban landscape.
13. Furthermore, these projects will also help to alleviate the burden on existing cities and improve the overall quality of life for residents.
14. Secondly, Sir, the Renewed Hope Cities and Estates Programme is designed to be a catalyst for economic growth. The construction and development of these new areas will generate employment opportunities, stimulate local businesses, and attract investments. The 50,000 units that we plan to deliver under phase 1 will create 1,250,000 direct and indirect construction jobs. This is in addition to the value chain effects of purchase, supply of building materials, businesses around the construction sites, etc.
15. The programme also aligns with your Excellency’s broader vision of national development. It is a step towards creating smart and modern cities that can compete on a global scale, attracting both domestic and foreign investments. This will not only enhance our country’s image but also position Nigeria as a forward-thinking nation ready to embrace the challenges of the future. The Renewed Hope Cities and Estates Programme is therefore a strategic initiative that addresses multiple facets of development – from urban planning and economic growth to social inclusion and environmental sustainability.
16. Your Excellency, Sir, today we are here to kickstart this nation-wide Programme with the ground-breaking ceremony for a 3,112-housing unit Renewed Hope City in Karsana, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory as part of 20,000 housing units to be built in Abuja.
17. This project is the pilot under a Public Private Partnership between the Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and a consortium of developers comprising Continental Civil and General Construction and Ceezali Limited signed in December 2023 to deliver a total of 100,000 houses nationwide.
READ ALSO: Dangote Office Raid by EFCC May Dampen Investors’ Confidence—Lawmaker
18. Under this PPP arrangement the Ministry is creating the enabling environment and facilitating off takers for the houses through the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) while the developers will source for land and finance the construction. By encouraging this PPP arrangements, we are taking the financial burden off government while meeting our citizens needs for decent and quality shelter.
19. We chose to start in the Federal Capital Territory because it is the heart of the nation. We are also impressed that the Hon. Minister of the FCT, Nyesom Wike is committed to the Renewed Hope Agenda, and understands the importance of housing and access roads to residents and is taking steps to improve infrastructure in the FCT.
20. While we have been engaging with the Hon. Minister, I would like to make three formal requests to enable us achieve the big plans that we have for the FCT. First is for the Hon. Minister to kindly include the construction of access road to this Karsana site and other Renewed Hope Cities Sites in the FCT in its road expansion programme. We had earlier requested for 100 hectares of land along the Airport Road to site a bigger Renewed Hope City project. We believe that the Hon. Minister will kindly oblige us as we have made the necessary arrangements to commence work.
21. Additionally, we plan to develop another big housing project in Gbagadalape at the boundary between Nasarawa State and the FCT (near Abacha Barracks) and would kindly request the Hon. Minister of the FCT to help open up the access road there to enable us begin work. These expansions and siting of cities on the outskirts of the FCT will help decongest the city center, lessen pressure on infrastructure and create jobs in the FCT.
22. Also, in Lagos, we are collaborating with the Ministry of Information which has land in prime location to develop another Renewed Hope City. We look forward to the cooperation of the Hon. Minister, Mohammed Idris Malagi to make that happen soonest.
23. Your Excellency, this ground-breaking is one of many more to follow. We have scheduled the ground-breaking for several additional sites nationwide for the commencement of the Renewed Hope Cities and Estates in this first quarter. This includes 2,500 Renewed Hope City housing units at the Ibeju-Lekki Coastal City, Lagos, the development of a 500-housing unit Renewed Hope Estate in Kano and 250 housing units in twelve (12) states (2 per geopolitical zone) as Renewed Hope Estates. This amounts to 6,000 housing units under the 2023 Supplementary Budget.
24. From the Ministry’s 2024 Approved Budget, we are also rolling out another batch of Renewed Hope Estates comprising250 housing units each in 6 additional states totalling 1,500 housing units.
25 .This means from the housing component of the Supplementary Budget and the 2024 budget, in which you graciously approved N100bn and N18.9billion respectively for us to implement our Renewed Hope Cities and Estates and Urban and Slum Upgrading programmes, the Ministry is set to deliver 7,500 affordable housing units that will cater to the average Nigerian worker.
26. Our objective is to follow your clear direction in charting a progressive path and demonstrating that your administration has what it takes to set our dear country on the path of sustainable growth and development. And that a better and prosperous Nigeria that cares for its citizens is possible.
27. We sincerely thank you but also like Oliver Twist wish to also crave that you kindly consider an upward review of the Ministry’s budget given the size of the housing problem that the country faces and designation of the housing sector as key infrastructure for achieving the Renewed Hope Vision for a 1-trillion- dollar economy.
28. Your Excellency, Sir, access roads and infrastructure are key to the success of this programme. We would therefore like to plead that as part of government contribution, you kindly ask relevant Ministries and State governments to provide access roads to the Renewed Hope Cities and Estates project sites in all the locations across the country to enhance affordability and liveability.
29 . your capable, bold and history making leadership, we intend to turn the country into a giant construction site in our quest to not just provide affordable homes and decent communities for Nigerians, but also contribute to the reengineering of the nation’s economy through job creation and amplification of the housing construction value-chain.
30. I would like to thank the Consortium of developers especially Continental & Civil Construction Ltd and Ceezali Limited and financiers for keying into our vision of housing Nigerians, and I urge you all to adhere to agreed designs and standards, using only quality building materials, while also sticking to stipulated timelines for completion of the projects.
31. Also, in line with Mr. President’s Renewed Hope Agenda to ensure that all Nigerians including the NO INCOME, vulnerable and underprivileged groups have access to decent and dignified accommodation, we are also creating the framework for the establishment of a National Social Housing Fund (NSHF). This is because we believe that access to decent shelter is a not only a necessity but a human right and that all Nigerians across all income segments deserve a decent home to live and grow.
32. Your Excellency, we are pursuing your desire to reform the housing and urban development landscape with vigor because you have demonstrated an uncommon political will to get things done. Weeks ago, with your approval, we inaugurated four housing sector reform task teams to develop blueprints for strengthening federal housing institutions, increasing housing supply, streamlining land administration, and establishing building materials manufacturing hubs in each of the six geo-political zones of the country.
READ ALSO: Canada, Facing Housing Shortage, to Consider Cap on International Students
33. The recommendations that these teams will produce and the actions that we will take will lead to a major and historic transformation of Nigeria’s housing and urban development space.
34. Once again, Sir, I thank you for the confidence in our capacity to drive your Renewed Hope Agenda for the housing and urban development sector.
35. Thank you all, and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.