Lafarge eyes housing deficit reduction through microfinance academy

13 October 2015

Lafarge Africa Plc, a member of the LafargeHolcim Group, has launched the Lagos State Chapter of its Housing Microfinance Academy, which is to provide capacity building to Microfinance Banks to enhance accessibility of housing credits for the low to middle income segments of the society.

The move is aimed at enabling low-income earners own homes, reduce the 17 million housing deficits in the country and results from the success of the pilot scheme in Sagamu last year.

The CEO, Aggregates and Concrete, Lafarge Africa, Loren Zanin said that the ‘Lafarge Ile Irorun’ (house of comfort), has expanded nationally and is now called ‘Lafarge Easy Home.’ In two years, it has enabled 2,000 families to build their homes, allowing a total of 10,000 Nigerians to become homeowners.

Zanin said: “Nigeria has from the start been one of the key countries for our affordable housing initiative and what was done in Sagamu, the first housing microfinance programme ever in this country, was through the partnership with LAPO Microfinance Bank and the support of the Agence Francaise de Developpment (AFD).”

“This initiative was launched four years ago in the perimeter of Lafarge group and over the period, Lafarge has developed projects in 18 countries.

This initiative is unique as it combines two objectives, which are finding new ways of doing business by serving the low income segment profitably, and making an impact on the housing for millions of people. This is now a business for Lafarge which impacted more than 300,000 people over the last two years, and generated €7,2m EBITDA last year”.

Lafarge Easy Home now has operations in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Kwara, Edo and Cross River states, with, close to 200 families becoming clients of the scheme monthly.

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