• Monday, June 24, 2024
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Lafarge, Shelter Afrique seal pact to build for low income earners

Lafarge Africa gets shareholders approval to pay dividend

Nigeria’s large population and wide housing demand-supply gap continues to make it a haven for investors which explains the recent pact signed between Lafarge Africa Plc and Shelter Afrique intent on leveraging the potentials and opportunities in this sector to build for low income earners.

The country has 170 million people with about 70 percent of this number in the low income bracket and about 17 million housing units deficit that tilts heavily towards low income housing where demand is high yet supply is very low, leaving those in this class largely underserved.

Lafarge Africa, a leading Sub-Saharan Africa building materials company and a subsidiary of France-based Lafarge SA which is a world leader in building materials, is not new to partnerships and joint ventures given its commitment for supporting national development in various ways.

Its partnership with Shelter Afrique is a coming together of like-minds with shared vision and, according to James Mugerwa, Managing Director, Shelter Afrique, “we once again show that we are always keen on building strong partnerships and finding efficient ways to deliver affordable housing, which is a shared vision we have with Lafarge; it also shows our joint commitment to Nigeria, a very important market for affordable housing and a key player in the region.”

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Over time, Lafarge has developed affordable housing programme and, in the opinion of Guillaume Roux, its Group MD/CEO, the implementation of this agreement with Shelter Afrique  represents a new major step in their commitment to bringing more housing and better solutions to contribute to building better cities in Nigeria.

The company which leverages its innovative expertise to provide valued added products and services solutions in the building and construction industry in Sub-Saharan Africa, offers affordable housing solutions to populations with low purchasing power.

Since 2013, its affordable housing programme has provided access to decent housing for 250,000 people in 18 countries and its objective/target is to facilitate access to affordable and sustainable housing for two million people by 2020.

In Nigeria, the company started its affordable housing programme tagged “Ile Irorun” in October 2013 and, so far, over 6,000 people have been impacted by the scheme through more than 1,000 constructions, each beneficiary having an average of six members in his family.

As the only pan-African finance institution that exclusively supports the development of the housing and real estate sector in Africa, Shelter Afrique meets the needs of the continent’s rapidly growing urban population and its work has a direct and positive impact on the lives of many.

The institution is a partnership of 44 African governments including the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Africa Reinsurance Company, building strategic partnerships and offering a host of products and related services to support efficient delivery of affordable housing and commercial real estate.

These include project finance, institutional lending, equity investments and joint ventures, trade finance, and social housing. It also offers practical advice and technical assistance to a wide range of industry stakeholders.

CHUKA UROKO