A deal that will see the building of 50,000 affordable homes over a ten year period in Ekiti State has been signed between the government of the state, SHS Holdings and UNOPS.
A statement announcing the deal and made available to Business A.M. explained that all of the new affordable homes to be built will include renewable energy and disease preventative technology, including solar panel roofs, waste-to-energy technology and mosquito-repelling coatings.
With the signing of the deal, Ekiti is the latest to join one of the largest affordable housing initiatives in the world, part of UNOPS Sustainable Infrastructure Impact Investments (S3I) – which will deliver at least one million homes across multiple countries on three continents over the next decade. The partnership will create thousands of local jobs at the factory and on construction sites and will spur economic growth among a host of local industries, the statement read.
It noted that as part of the agreement, UNOPS and SHS will seek to mobilize resources from third-party investors to fund the initiative whose gross development value (based on the sales value of completed homes) is estimated to reach $2 billion, adding that SHS will supply proprietary state-of-the-art technology as well as oversee the development of housing by qualified contractors while UNOPS will bring to bear its comparative advantages in the mandated (by the UN General Assembly) areas, such as: infrastructure, procurement and project management.
“The government of Ekiti will identify and allocate suitable land for potential developments, and help create an enabling environment for foreign direct investment and mortgage finance,” the statement added.
Explaining further, it stated that S3I aims to break down barriers and create attractive opportunities for private sector investors to engage in long-term development initiatives – with a focus on affordable housing, renewable energy and health infrastructure.
Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti State, speaking on the development said: “We are very excited to partner with UNOPS and SHS to deliver affordable housing to the people of Ekiti State. This partnership will not only deliver 50,000 homes in our communities, it will also increase foreign direct investment into Ekiti State, and put thousands of our people in jobs. This is how our promise of developing Ekiti, and improving the lives of the people can be achieved. This partnership has come at an important time, during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has reminded us of the need to deliver quality social infrastructure to the people. I am excited that UNOPS and SHS have chosen Ekiti State as the first destination in Nigeria for this project, and we will do everything to ensure we create a model that can be replicated across the country.”
Vitaly Vanshelboim, United Nations assistant secretary-general and chief executive of S3I (Sustainable Infrastructure Impact Investments), also commenting said: “We are very pleased to support this contribution to Nigeria’s national development priorities and in particular, to help meet the critical need for affordable housing, through innovative approaches to construction and mortgage financing. UNOPS is strongly committed to helping find new ways to finance inclusive, resilient and sustainable development activities that generate positive social, economic and environmental impacts.”
Also speaking on the signing of the deal, Allen Zimbler, chairman of SHS Holdings, said: “SHS Holdings is proud to participate in signing a collaboration agreement with the Ekiti State Government of Nigeria and UNOPS in respect of building at least 50,000 sustainable housing units for key government employees and other eligible citizens, in sites to be identified within the State. SHS is committed to making housing accessible to all, using robust and reliable construction technology, and employing proprietary energy-efficient solar rooftops, waste to energy technology and mosquito-repellant coating. We look forward to working with the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Development of the Ekiti State Government and to creating opportunities for the employment of significant numbers of local citizens in the process.”
According to an explanatory note, UNOPS mission is described as to help people build better lives and countries achieve peace and sustainable development. “We help the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, and deliver sustainable infrastructure and procurement in an efficient way,” it stated.
On the other hand, UNOPS S3I seeks to de-risk and structure infrastructure investment projects in an effort to help attract financing from the private sector to national development agendas. Projects selected are subjected to a rigorous and comprehensive due diligence process that will ensure a positive environmental, social and economic impact, while offering risk-mitigated above-market financial returns for private sector investors.