One million houses needed annually to reduce 17m deficit- PMB …calls for more investment in low-income housing

Niyi Maraiyesa

President Muhammadu Buhari Photo Credit: Thisday

President Muhammadu Buhari
Photo Credit: Thisday

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigeria requires one million houses annually to reduce its current national housing deficit of about 17 million and avert housing crisis by the year 2020.

President Buhari said this during the 35th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and International Symposium of Shelter Afrique held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja Wednesday.

The President who was represented at the occasion by the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, stated the Federal Government has earmarked N40 billion in the 2016 capital budget to implement a comprehensive housing programme in the country.

According to him, “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”.

Buhari disclosed that the Federal Government is considering vibrant reforms in land administration, urban planning/renewal and mortgage housing finance under its new comprehensive housing programme to improve housing delivery in Nigeria.

The President remarked that the current realties of housing shortfall, challenges housing developers in Nigeria and Africa as a whole to re-assess their strategies and evolve fresh methodologies to meet the exigencies of these times.

He cited the successes recorded in the East and Central African Region by Shelter Afrique, a pan-African Finance Institution, through its ‘Exemplar Housing Initiative’; saying its potential benefits could be better harnessed by a wider housing market to achieve housing for the low income earners in other parts of Africa.

Buhari lauded Shelter Afrique’s commitment to further popularizing current best practices for housing delivery in Africa and therefore called on the Board and Management of the continental Finance Institution to embrace the opportunity of opening new frontiers by investing in low-income houses in Nigeria.

He also appealed to other development partners to invest more in the Nigerian Housing sub-sector to deepen the vibrancy of the country’s housing market.

“I expect that this meeting will come up with a consolidated strategy that would assist national governments across Africa to develop robust systems to deliver affordable housing to the low income on sustainable basis,” the President stressed.

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