Governor AmbodeThe Lagos State Government on Monday said it had introduced the Rent-to-Own Policy to support the Lagos Mortgage Scheme for home ownership in the state.

The Commissioner for Housing, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, said at a ministerial news conference in Ikeja that the scheme had already become effective.

Lawal said that the policy was aimed at making housing more accessible and affordable, particularly to medium and low income earners in both informal and formal sectors.

According to him, individuals, under the arrangement, are required to pay five per cent of the value of the housing unit as commitment fee.

He said that the remaining payment would be spread over 10 years at six per cent interest rate.

Lawal said that another initiative of the ministry was the “Master Craftsmen Project”, intended to redress the dearth of skilled workers, including masons, carpenters and plumbers among others, in the building industry.

He said about 4,000 craftsmen would be trained over a period of four years and the state government would provide them with basic tools and equipment.

“It will appear that the Nigerian Housing and Construction Industry is becoming more and more dependent on foreigners to fill the gap created as our trained artisans gradually age out and insufficient new ones are being trained to replace them,” he said.

Lawal said that the project was government’s intervention in collaboration with relevant professional bodies.

“Under the programme, a craftsman may be attached to a reputable building construction company or assigned to the numerous housing projects of the state government for a specified period to undertake skill capacity building after an initial training at our centres,” he said.

Lawal said that the trainee, at the end of the period, would be subjected to appropriate examinations and be eventually registered as a Master Craftsman, if successful.