From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja

Even at the twilight of his tenure, Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola did not resolve the troubling issue of housing deficit when he said, yesterday, that he cannot rely on unverifiable data of 17 million housing deficit because it was based on flawed 2006 census.

Speaking during the launch of National Housing Strategy Document, produced by FMDQ, in Abuja, the Minister wondered why Nigerians should build on flawed census.
He pleaded with Nigerians to wait until after the 2023 census before they can bandy figures.
“The chairman of the National Population Commission and his team were here to brief me recently and they shared some of the work done which are commendable.

“One of the data shared was that there are 95 million buildings in Nigeria. Those buildings include residential, factories, businesses and other building types.

“One of the data that will be collected will be who lives in a rented house, who owns the house, those who have other houses and what type of house people live in?

“So, let’s hold our breath and when the figure comes it will be very reliable upon which we can see the real size of the problem” he said.
He wondered why Nigerians should be focusing and counting things that they cannot see.

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“Why are we focusing and counting things we cannot see? Let us be careful about the data we use because unreliable data can be dangerous” he advised.

In his remarks, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, FMDQ Group Plc, Mr Bola Onadele-Koko said that reforming land administration and titling procedures could potentially unlock dead capital estimated at US$300.00 billion for the Nigerian economy – which is equivalent to 60.00 per cent of Nigeria’s total Gross Domestic Product.

Onadele-Koko who spoke through the Senior Vice President and the Executive Secretary, Financial Centres for Sustainability, Lagos, Mr Emmanuel Etaderhi, also said that the challenges faced in the housing sector are multifaceted and range from land acquisition and high construction costs to inadequate home financing options, including limited access to affordable mortgages or periodic rental payments.

According to him, the housing value chain has the potential to support sustainable economic growth and development via a robust multiplier effect, especially concerning land and housing construction activities.

The document, he said, identifies nine strategic objectives to anchor the implementation plan for the Nigerian housing ecosystem within the next 10 years which include,
harmonise all existing housing initiatives/programmes,
improve land administration and titling process,
reduce housing construction cost,
improve housing quality across the country, bridge the housing deficit,
establish housing assistance models to address social housing need, enhance access to housing finance for home acquisition,
promote flexible payment options and deepen capital market activities

“To ensure the execution of the initiatives contained in the document, FMDQ Group, as an agent of change, will continue to be a critical catalyst in the economic development of our great nation and therefore seek to establish a Housing Development Initiative (“HDI’’) Programme Management Office that will engage with all relevant stakeholders – spurring, supporting, monitoring, and reporting – on the implementation of the initiatives of the document as we collectively work towards the achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal eleven (SDG 11) – Sustainable Cities and Communities – that Nigeria has committed to.