Abuja – Shelter Afrique, a Pan African Housing finance institution, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN), to boost housing sector financing and development.
Mr James Mugerwa, Shelter Afrique Managing Director, told NAN on Friday in Anbja that the MoU would specifically provide technical expertise and know-how on how to structure financing proposals and business plans to REDAN members.
Mugerwa noted that it was part of a new service the organisation, as a housing financier, would be providing in 2016.
“We started the year announcing our new capacity development programme for those in the construction industry; we will have the first of such master classes in Cameroon in the third quarter.”
He said this was informed by the realisation that many developers or construction companies did not have the requisite business skills to carry out large-scale projects.
“The MoU will also see REDAN provide a list of screened and approved members who are eligible for loans and financing to Shelter Afrique; the aim of this is for the two organisations to work together.
“This will assist the Nigerian government’s ambitious plan for housing which will require one million units annually, to reduce the 17 million units deficit,” Mugerwa said.
In a separate interview, Rev. Chime Ugochukwu, REDAN National President, told NAN that the MoU was an open-ended one and that it involved funding, training and research for REDAN members.
Chime noted that it would ensure qualitative service delivery and efficiency across the housing value chain, thereby liberating the potential in the housing industry.
“As of today, housing is no longer about shelter rather, it is about employment creation and its multiplier effect in the local economy.
“We have discovered that in the 17 million housing deficit there is as an opportunity as well as a problem, depending on how it is handled.
“So, we decided to work with Shelter Afrique to see how we can provide finance and streamline the process from construction to mortgage loan, then facility management.”
Chime said the partnership was aimed at ensuring that some of the best practices the organisation had learnt across the African continent, was domesticated in Nigeria, to energise its housing sector financing.
“We are looking forward to having a minimum of 10 projects across the country in the next one year.
“We are also trying to collaborate with them on Rental Housing, to make sure that the urban poor, who ordinarily cannot afford mortgage, can be keyed into paying to own the property through rental.
Chime said that REDAN already had a substantive MoU with the organisation signed three years ago, but entered into a fresh understanding due to the limitation of the previous one.
He further said that the newly signed MoU captured a wider area of REDAN operations.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the MoU was signed as part of the activities at the Shelter Afrique 35th Annual General Meeting and Symposium in Abuja.(NAN)