As the Federal Government and most of the states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, battle the nation’s high housing deficit, Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Carl Michael Gräns has reiterated Sweden’s continuous partnership with EchoStone Nigeria, in providing affordable housing solution to Nigerians.
Managing Director/CEO, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, had put the country’s housing deficit at 22 million units and the bulk of that is in urban areas — Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja.
Speaking with newsmen after inspecting a prototype of the Echostone two-bedroom bungalow, at the Government Technical College, Agidingbi, Lagos, Michael Gräns was amazed that the firm could build four houses in 14 days, which is cheap, eco-friendly and available for people in such a short time.
Commenting on the Swedish partnership with the firm, he said the machine used in making the concrete for building the houses came from Sweden, however, he pointed out that it is a good venture between Sweden, America and Nigeria.
While responding to questions on the impact of the partnership in reducing housing shortfall in Nigeria, he said: “The impact will be great, because with the modern technology used in building the houses, EchoStone can deliver 50,000 homes a year, and half a million houses in 10 years. And for a city like Lagos that is growing very fast, it can really make an impact, and it is already spreading to other states, such as Kaduna State, which I think is very promising.”
While reacting to the likely support of Sweden in tackling Nigeria’s high housing shortfall, the Ambassador noted that there are discussions around that recently, adding that he met with different Swedish companies, and had discussed with the financial solutions in addressing the housing gap in the country.
“If you have a good project, you would have to find a solution in financing these projects, it could be investments, which is what we are looking into, and there are different state institutions in Sweden that could help with financing guarantees, in order to make these kind of projects go real,” he explained.
Although, he did not mention any figure from the Sweden financing, he said it might sometimes be difficult getting such financing from commercial banks. “So you need some guarantee perhaps from the states, and there several institutions in Sweden,” he stressed.
Explaining the rationale behind the project, Director of EchoStone Nigeria, Sammy Adigun said the idea behind the company is to solve affordable housing problems, aimed at delivering to low-income earners, which comes with full infrastructure and built with modern technology that makes it studier.
The director, therefore, reinstated that EchoStone would meet the housing needs of Lagos residents and Nigeria at large with the support of all the relevant stakeholders, without compromising the quality which would last not less than 100 years.
Source: Daily Sun