Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has revealed that 7,315 applications were received for the purchase of houses under the National Housing Programme, within the first week of launching the online portal.
The Director of Press and Public Relations, Mrs Boade Akinola, disclosed this to newsmen in a statement on Friday, 19th November in Abuja.
The statement, which quoted the Works and Housing Minister, Fashola as saying this to the Senate Committee on Housing, on Thursday, Nov. 18th, 2021, declared: “As at today, 7,315 applications have been received so far and the number is still growing.”
The minister explained that the ministry had been working and progress at selling the houses to the public had been recorded since the launch of online platform for openness and transparency, as well as for avoiding unnecessary interference by some vested interests.
Mr. Babatunde Fashola stated that the categories of the houses were different from what was available in the open market.
He noted that the type of houses being offered for sale were generous in terms of space, citing the one-bed room as having 60sqm, 2 bedroom 76sqm and the 3 bedroom with 110sqm, assuring that the sizes were larger than what was offered by other developers.
On the prices, Fashola said: “There are 1, 2, 3 bedrooms, some of which are bungalows, while others are flats. The minimum house is N7.2m and the highest is about N16m. “
Fashola stated that the Ministry had carried out a survey on the type of houses Nigerians desired to live in, to avoid the unfortunate incidence in the past, where some houses that were built did not conform with the peoples’ needs.
Speaking on the rationale behind launching the online portal for intending buyers of the houses, Fashola said ” our thinking is based on experience and what we think is right.
“This is a digital age. If we buy air ticket and book hotels through the internet, we believe we could do the same in applying for the houses”.
He, however, agreed that the system may not be perfect just like in any other human endeavour, but that the ministry had done what it believed to be best practice at the moment.
On the requirements for purchase, the minister listed ; passport photographs, tax clearance and means of clear identification, N10,000 application fee, amongst others, while stating that it was not possible for one to buy more than one house.
As for why the prices differed in some states, Fashola cited difference in topography and cost of building as the determining factors, saying, ”the cost of building houses in Bayelsa for example is higher than doing same in Osogbo”.
While responding to the question of affordability of the houses, the minister said, “affordability is not just a function of the cost, but also the mode of payment, that is why we created the rent-to-own option of payment.”
Senator Sam Egwu, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Housing, commended the minister for his commitment to housing delivery to Nigerians.