Lafarge Partners Fortis MFB on mass housing project
Lafarge Africa Plc. and Fortis Microfinance Bank (MFB) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the provision of 500 affordable homes for Nigerian
buyers within six months to one year from the start of the project.
CEO Aggregates & Concrete, Lafarge Africa Plc, Loren Zanin said the partnership supported the company’s strategy to make available its affordable housing solutions in all 36 states of Nigeria.
“The housing microfinance programme is a social business initiative; it aims at enabling low income people, who represent 80% of Nigerians, to become homeowners, at a time when the vast majority of these people do not have access to commercial banks loans and mortgages”, he said.
“It also creates jobs for local communities in the construction industry. Besides, it is also an added value to our customers: cement retailers, block makers, etc., as, housing microfinance will enable them to grow their clientele”
Lafarge will provide free technical assistance, making house construction more affordable. This includes a catalogue of designs that can be adapted to the customer’s needs, a detailed bill of quantities based on the chosen design and Lafarge quality materials at controlled prices, with money disbursed directly to suppliers.
The company will also monitor the project from pre-loan to start of construction and end of construction ensuring timely delivery while respecting the project costs and materials quantities.
Managing Director/CEO, Fortis Microfinance Bank, Tiko Okoye stated that the bank is leveraging on Lafarge’s strength and expertise and 600 million naira is earmarked for the 500 homes covered in the agreement.
Fortis will also ensure the customer has the capacity, avoiding over-indebtedness. It will also educate them on a culture of savings.
Lafarge Africa Plc’s Housing Microfinance programme, Easy Home, has helped 2700 families become homeowners. The scheme, initially started in Ogun State, is now operational in nine states.