Nigeria ought to have gone past the stage of highfalutin promises by now; it is a big shame that this appears not to be the case. Now, the Federal Government is promising to utilise its “federal” might to provide “Federal Housing Estates” to a very, very minuscule fraction of the population.
On the pages of newspapers, this idea looks grand and doable, but I don’t think government has the direction it will take to achieve this. Thus, this brings up the issue of how best to implement any housing estate scheme; true, contiguous housing estate schemes are veritable slum-fixers in addition to their purpose of providing low-cost habitation over the long-term.
Now, expending resources through the mass media to make promises does anyone no good at all. What can be done in this regard is pretty straightforward; venture capitalists should be provided large hectares of lands at prime locations in state capitals at no cost, and these investors would be required to engage expert construction firms like Julius Berger, to develop these lots according to low-cost template designs that would result in buildings that are easy to maintain and ones that would be there for a long time.
How the “federal” might can help here is ensuring that the home leasees pay their rents promptly through deductions from sources in favour of the venture capitalists.
In the end, a win-win situation ensues; long-term low-cost houses are available for rent and the venture capitalists now have stakes in long-term real estate investments.
- Sunday Adole Jonah,