AS many as 20 of Nigeria’s 36 states have expressed a willingness to participate in the federal government’s Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) housing scheme that will involve the construction of 300,000 houses and selling them to buyers for N2m each.
Following the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, vice president Professor Yemi Osinbajo put together the ESP programme designed to revive the Nigerian economy. Among other things, it contains a public works programme and a radical housing construction plan aimed at addressing the chronic lack of affordable homes in the country.
Professor Osinbajo’s social housing scheme is designed to create 1.8m jobs as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) commits an initial N200bn ($521.3m) facility to the project which kicks off this week. This week the government invited interested Nigerians to join the scheme as partners under the Family Homes Fund, the federal government agency designated to implement the scheme.
Laolu Akande, Professor Osinbajo’s spokesman, said that information on the scheme is available on the government portal Nshp.gov.ng. He added that more than 20 states including the Federal Capital Territory have already expressed interest and support in the programme, including many who have offered free land for the constructions of the houses.
Under the scheme, houses will be offered at low prices of between N1.8m to N2m. Among the states that have indicated a willingness to join the scheme include Osun, Ogun, Enugu, Delta, Bauchi, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Plateau and the Federal Capital Territory.
There are also others like Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Imo, Cross River, Sokoto, Kaduna, Zamfara, Katsina, Borno and Yobe states that are now working towards joining in too. Under the ESP Social Housing Plan, 300,000 low cost houses would by itself create 1.8m jobs in the sector and beyond.
In June, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the N2.3trn ESP programme prepared by the Osinbajo Economic Sustainability Committee. Its primary aim is to reboot the economy and create jobs in wake of the economic slowdown brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.