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Nigeria, Iran to partner in provision of affordable houses

by Business News Report

The Minister of Housing, Lands and Urban Development Mrs Akon Eyakenyi said Nigeria was willing to partner with Iran in the provision of affordable houses in the country. The minister made the disclosure when she received an Iranian delegation led by Mr Mohammad Nematzadeh, its Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade.

Eyakenyi said Nigeria had a large population which resulted in housing challenges. According to her, the housing deficit in the country is put at 17 million. “We have realised that it is not possible that government alone can provide the housing needs of Nigerians.

“To cover that huge gap, it is our responsibility to look elsewhere to see how we can draw partners from outside the government to intervene in this sector.’’

She said the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan was committed to addressing the challenges in the sector. The minister added that government had provided the lead way, by providing an enabling environment for other countries to invest in the sector.

“We have the land, which we can provide and we also ensure conducive environment for investors. We also ensure that there are off-takers to pick up the housing units when completed, while our developers and partners provide the funding.’’

The minister said the partnership would ensure that prospective investors did not only provide funds but timely completion of the housing projects. The Federal Government, she added, had funded various housing initiatives aimed at providing affordable houses for citizens and listed some efforts made by government as the ministerial pilot scheme and prototype housing scheme. She stressed the need for investors to use technologies that would encourage affordability. Earlier, the Iranian minister said the delegation’s visit to the ministry was to seek for ways of investing in the housing sector in Nigeria. 

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