The Group Managing Director, Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi, said the company invested in real estate development to solve housing problems in the country.
“Our foray into housing development is not for profit motive but a result of our genuine desire to provide affordable homes to fellow Nigerians,” he said.
Ogunbiyi said housing needs of Nigerians had been put at 17 million and, recent efforts by government (at all levels) and the private sector fell very short of what was required.
He said urbanisation had made the problem worse because in metropolitan states like Lagos, there had been a constant pull of people to the city centre.
According to him, prohibitive costs of providing suitable houses have also exacerbated the problem.
He said that from a recent study by the Department of Building, Faculty of Environmental Design, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, some of the houses being provided did not meet the minimum quality standard.
The insurer said the quality of the houses, according to the study, was poor and an affront to human dignity which could have a profound influence on the health, efficiency, social behaviour, satisfaction and general welfare” on those buying them.
He said three years ago, Mutual Benefits commenced the construction work on a residential estate, “Mutual Alpha Courts”, in Lagos State.
The estate, he noted, was made up of four bedroom apartments on two floors with an additional two-bedroom apartment on the ground floor as service quarters or income generator if leased to a tenant.
Overall, he disclosed that the estate has 18 blocks of 54 units.
He also said a flexible subscription payment plan had been put in place with mortgage on 60 per cent of sales prices at nine to eleven per cent interest rate for 10 years tenor.
The Mutual Benefits boss said the terraced apartments consisted of three units in a block, each with a spiral service stair at the rear, adding that the spatial arrangement encouraged healthy social interaction among residents with services well positioned away from the buildings.
He said there was also the construction of completely new drainage systems, power supply lines, kitchen furniture and fittings, DSTV cables to all living rooms and bedrooms and PABX cabling to the gate from every apartment.
Our “needs-based” selling model makes it compelling for us to provide beneficially unique solution-oriented actions,” he said.
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