‘Nigeria needs one million houses annually…’

4

…As President Jonathan promises to stem development of slums

From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, Abuja

Federal Government has said the only way to avert crisis in the housing sector by 2020 in the country is to build a minimum of one million housing units annually.

The Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama Pepple, disclosed this yesterday at the one-day presidential stakeholders’ retreat on housing and urban development with the theme, “Unleashing the potential in housing sector as a key contributor to Nigeria’s economic development,” held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“Nigeria, with a population of about 167 million people (2011) requires a minimum of additional one million housing units to avert a housing crisis by the year 2020 and beyond through a variety of housing delivery models,” she said.

The minister said the revitalisation of the housing and urban development sector was important for the accomplishment of rapid national progress. She estimated the slum population in urban areas at 66 per cent, resulting in unplanned towns and cities, inadequate infrastructure, rising urban poverty, inadequate housing, increased rates of crime and insecurity among others.

Pepple identified some of the challenges confronting the sector to include lack of political will to unleash a housing revolution; policy inconsistencies and institutional inability; undue politicisation; piece-meal strategy of housing delivery at the expense of mass housing development; as well as lack of ownership/title rights partly attributable to challenges associated with the implementation of the Land Use Act, 1978. In his address, President Goodluck Jonathan agreed that it was high time the government took measures to stem unplanned development of slums across the country.

According to him, “Cities are recognised as the gateway to national development across civilisations. We must therefore, continue to develop satellite towns in the country and take measures to stem unplanned development of slums, placing emphasis on good urban governance, regeneration of our unplanned and old cities and proper planning of urban spaces. “Funding mass housing delivery and promoting functional, dynamic and green cities will also require the injection of more fund to urban and regional development in spite of the lean resources of government. I, therefore, urge you to consider all available options for sustainable funding of the sector.”

Jonathan assured that his administration would continue its policy of engaging the private sector to play a more dominant role in the housing sector, adding that it would seek support and collaboration with international and multi-lateral agencies.

He added that his government wa s committed to recapitalising the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and strengthening the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Housing Authority, saying other institutions of government in the building environment will receive equal attention. Others are poor land administration and little effort in computerising the state land registries; delay and high cost of processing land titles; cumbersome and slow foreclosure procedures; non-availability and high cost of construction materials; low capacity of builders and developers and unprecedented urbanisation; inadequate administrative, legal and regulatory framework; poor urban planning system; absence of up-to-date development strategies for urban management due to lack of capacity, resources and data.

Others are, lack of long-term funding for housing and urban development, accentuating accessibility and cost of mortgage financing; inefficient mechanism for acquiring or transferring property rights; wide affordability gap in home ownership; low capital base of the primary and secondary mortgage institutions; prevalence of unskilled local personnel and artisans in the building industry; poor incentives for provision of affordable housing; non-promotion of the use of alternative technology; non-enforcement of standards; low contribution of mortgage finance, at 10/0 as percentage of GDP; weak enforcement of development control covenants; lack of post-construction management in planning projects and inadequate budgetary allocation and releases.

She disclosed that plans were underway for the development of affordable mass housing schemes in pilot phases in the six geopolitical zones to show the feasibility of the new framework for affordable mass housing delivery and to address any identified areas of errors.

The initial phase, she explained, would be flagged off in cities with the most pressing need for housing such as Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano, using traditional building techniques for enhancement of job creation.

In his address, President Goodluck Jonathan agreed that it was high time the government took measures to stem unplanned development of slums across the country. According to him, “Cities are recognised as the gateway to national development across civilisations. We must therefore, continue to develop satellite towns in the country and take measures to stem unplanned development of slums, placing emphasis on good urban governance, regeneration of our unplanned and old cities and proper planning of urban spaces.

“Funding mass housing delivery and promoting functional, dynamic and green cities will also require the injection of more fund to urban and regional development in spite of the lean resources of government. I, therefore, urge you to consider all available options for sustainable funding of the sector.” Jonathan assured that his administration would continue its policy of engaging the private sector to play a more dominant role in the housing sector, adding that it would seek support and collaboration with international and multi-lateral agencies.

He added that his government is committed to recapitalising the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and strengthening the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Housing Authority, saying other institutions of government in the building environment will receive equal attention.

The Federal Executive Council had in June approved both the National Housing Policy and the National Urban Development Policy, as the umbrella framework for a coordinated response to meeting the challenges in the sector. On her part, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said Nigeria needed to add 23 million housing units by 2020 to meet the supply gap or another 2.6 million homes a year. Okonjo-Iweala said delivering on this housing need would require more forceful action across four key areas.

First, she said the nation must find a way to simplify the allocation of land title and the registration processes. Secondly, that the country must also identify three or four bankable housing projects to deliver at least one million houses in the next year.

“Third, we cannot forget those who still will not be able to buy a house even if a mortgage facility is put in place, the poor have a right to housing as well and the Minister of Land and I are determined to come up with a low income housing solution for our country. “Finally, let us consider what immediate regulatory actions are required from this government to underpin and facilitate urban development in Nigeria,” he said.

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4 Comments

  1. Are u sick and tired of surfing the internet, and spending 2much of ur time and money without any achievement? Then embrace this opportunity and overcome ur financial struggld, visit http://xrl.us/bnxwkg and register as Netcontacts member and start earning N1500 on daily basis for each person u invite to register as member. .ladies and gentlemen, embrace this opportunity, and overcome ur financial stress Goodluck

  2. what the government must do is the same thing they did during the high cost of transportation in the country, the government came up with a transportation policy of creating ”Federal Mass transport system” and encouraged the private sectors to come in , after which transportation cost became affordable to the common man. let the govt introduce same in the housing system.. housing system problem will solved..
    God bless Nigeria

  3. Let,s state govt in Nigeria kick start this idea with even 5,000 housing units per annum. IMO state govt has already began with 5,000 units at ikeduru, that will eventually cushion the effects of shelter problems befor 2020 target.

  4. I want house but i know get plenty money.i went to one mortgage bank advertising mortgage loan for all.i ask for the conditons na so the marketer con say-1.i must open account with them with N20,000;pay N5000 for the form;pay N40,000 for the use of their c/o for the prospective loan;pay N500,000 in six months time before i can be qualify for the mortgage loan of N1,500,000.
    re-payable in 30 years time.Na so i think am,the work i the work na N28,000 i they receive as salary,and i be 51years old by 31st of November,this year.Abeg some body should help me ask Madam Ngozi ,finance minister and Madam Ama Pepple,minister of housing if hope go they for me to get roof ober my head?

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