Mr Kingsley Theophilus, Chairman, African Shelter Support and Empowerment Initiative, has expressed determination of the organisation to inspire 10 million Nigerians to build or buy 10 million houses within the next 10 years.
Theophilus made the statement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.
He said that no Nigerian was supposed to lack access to a decent accommodation, considering the wealth and natural resources of the country.
“The African Shelter Support and Empowerment Initiative is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that focused on rendering humanitarian support and advice on easy ways one can build/own a house, using the limited resources.
“The motive of the NGO is to make its Vision 10:10:10 which focuses on inspiring 10 million Nigerians to build or buy 10 million houses in the next 10 years, a reality,” he said.
According to him, if 10 million people or more can build a house, the 17 million housing deficit of the country will reduce to a great extent.
He added that the objective was to encourage and support large number of prospective house owners through cooperative societies to pull resources together to buy or build houses of their own at a low cost.
“The essence of collective resources is to have more bargaining power such that the land, the building materials and other necessary services will be obtained at cheaper price.
“For instance, the price an individual will buy a bag of cement will not be the same with the price 100 people will collectively buy it; the price will possibly reduce due to bulk purchase,” he said.
He said that the NGO was partnering with government, estate developers, building material manufacturers, Mortgage Institutions and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that the vision was successful.
Theophilus lamented that most Nigerians, particularly civil servants, will work for about 30 to 35 years and retire without having any house of their own.
“It is worrisome how some Nigerian Lawyers, Doctors and Civil Servants among others, will work and retire as a tenant. And the reason is not that they are not making money while in service.
“The NGO is going to inspire, educate and support them on how best to ultilise the limited resources and become Landlords even while in service.
“It is good thing to start life as a tenant, but it is a very bad thing to retire as a tenant. Any individual who can afford to pay house rent, can afford to build or buy a house,” he said.
He noted that the objective of the NGO was to ensure that no Nigerian should work and retire as a tenant.
Therefore, Theophilus appealed to governments, faith-based organisations, employers and cooperative societies to strategise and come up with programmes that would help its members build their own houses. (NAN).