The Federal Government has earmarked N40 billion in the 2016 budget to implement a comprehensive housing development plan for Nigeria to avert a housing crisis in the country. President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed this last week, in Abuja, at the 35th Annual General Meeting and international symposium of Shelter Afrique, a pan-African real estate finance institution.
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammed Bello, said for Nigeria to adequately avert a housing crisis in the next four years, it must consciously build one million housing units annually to reduce the current national housing deficit estimated at about 17 million units.
“Nigeria, with a population of about 170 million people and an annual population growth rate of 3.5 percent, requires a minimum of additional one million housing units per annum to reduce the much acclaimed national deficit of about 17 million housing units in order to avert a housing crisis by the year 2020.
“The problem of housing the urban poor is not entirely new and I believe that different efforts must have been deployed in the past to confront it. But, even today, the problem is still with us. Such reality challenges us to re-assess our methodologies and evolve fresh strategies to meet the exigencies of these times. We are very much convinced of the catalytic development potential of the housing sector and have accordingly earmarked about N40 billion in the 2016 capital budget to implement a comprehensive programme for housing development in Nigeria,” he stated.
According to the president, “The government intends to directly supply housing stocks in urban areas across all the geo-political zones under its comprehensive housing programme. The Federal Government would also continue to prosecute overall housing policy stand which recognizes the government as active facilitator of private sector-driven housing sector.”
The President said the new national housing development programme would address shortage through direct housing supply. According to the president, “the government intends to directly supply housing stocks in urban areas across all the geo-political zones under its comprehensive housing programme. The Federal Government would also continue to prosecute overall housing policy stand which recognises the government as active facilitator of private sector-driven housing sector.”
In his remarks, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, lamented that series of housing initiatives embarked upon by the country over the years had not been pursued with consistency or any measure of sustainability. He explained that Shelter Afrique had financed 23 housing initiatives with N10.435 billion between 2005 and 2010. He disclosed that twelve States of the federation have offered to key-in into the Federal Government’s planned housing model for low- and middle-income earners.
Source: This post originally appeared on Vanguard Newspaper.