THE National Housing Authority (NHA) and Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) have signed an agreement with a Nigerian construction company, Urban Shelter, to build 5,000 housing units in Lusaka.
The agreement will involve over US$10 million and will run for three years – from 2011 to 2013.
The houses will be built in Lusaka’s North Gate area.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Lusaka on Tuesday, NHA chief executive officer Elias Mpondela said the construction of 5,000 houses will help Zambia reduce the over two million housing deficit.
“At NHA, our desire is to provide quality and affordable houses to our people. The coming of Urban Shelter to Zambia will help us to reduce the over two million housing deficit the country is facing,” Mr Mpondela said.
He said NHA will provide about seven to eight hectares of land to Urban Shelter for the construction of the houses.
Mr Mpondela said the current shortage of houses can be dealt with through the public private partnership programme, which NHA has entered into with the Nigerian company.
Urban Shelter assistant general manager Raheem Taofiq said his company will start the drafting and planning of the houses this year, and is expected to build the units in 2013.
Mr Taofiq said his company will use local materials and employ over 300 local people during the three-year project.
“Urban Shelter will build modern houses ranging from two, three, four and five bedrooms. We are scheduled to complete this project in 36 months,” he said.
Mr Taofiq said Urban Shelter will engage both skilled and non-skilled employees in Zambia because his company does not believe in out-sourcing labour.
Earlier, Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria John Mwaimba said the coming of Urban Shelter to Zambia is a result of President Banda’s good governance.
Mr Mwaimba said Mr Banda has managed to lure a lot of investors to Zamabia not just from Nigeria but also from other countries.
“President Banda has shamed his critics, who always condemn his trips abroad. But the coming of Urban Shelter and other investors from Nigeria is an indication of his prudent administration,” he said.
And Nigerian Investment Promotions Centre director Waziri Zanna assured Zambia that Urban Shelter will build quality and affordable houses.
[Zambia Daily Mail]