LafargeHolcim is targeting to make 25m people beneficiaries of its affordable housing scheme globally by 2020 with Nigeria representing a significant figure.
This is according to Lafarge Africa, the firm’s substituent based in Africa. Moreover, the firm’s first affordable housing scheme Lafarge Easy Home was inaugurated three years ago, and has benefited 30,000 people thus far.
Lafarge Africa’s Affordable Housing Manager, Mr. Aurelien Boyer, made it clear that the scheme is open to everyone who wishes to build a house and with no conditions whatsoever. However, the beneficiaries are expected to use Lafarge cement and blocks.
This, according to him, is due to the proven track-record in stability of the materials. The beneficiaries will also be provided with free designs and construction estimates through an application created for the purpose, technical advisors on site and financial assistance through partnering microfinance banks.
On the other hand, since Lafarge is not in the business of selling land, the scheme supports Nigerians who are already land owners who are looking to build. It also provides a solution for low-income earners from $64-$960 who are also aiming to build their homes. The scheme is currently in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Kwara, Ondo, Edo, Osun, Nasarawa, Niger, Cross River, Abia, Akwa Ibom and Rivers states.
Boyer added that so far 10% of the beneficiaries have been enabled to build business structures. This has also created job opportunities for the locals.
Lafarge Africa’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs Director, Mrs. Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, said the scheme was a validation of the group’s position as a provider of affordable housing solution, and not just a manufacturer of cement and aggregates.
She noted that private sector intervention remained a viable option in addressing the country’s housing problem.