The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to developing holistic strategies involving all tiers of government and the private sector to tackle housing challenges in the country.
Mr. Mohammed Bukar, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing (FMWH) said this in his opening remarks at the Eighth Meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development in Abuja on Monday.
He was represented at the occasion by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistic, FMWH and Coordinator of the programme, Dr. Famous Eseduwa. Bukar said in order to comprehensively address the challenges of housing development for sustainable economic growth, there was the need to develop a holistic strategy in housing development as obtained internationally.
We will not surrender our land to bloodthirsty herders, IPOB tells Miyetti Allah “The Federal Government would continually work toward fine-tuning its policies and programmes towards creating an enabling environment for greater participation of subnational governments and the private sector in housing development.
“The present administration is mindful of the challenges of access to credit encountered by low and medium income segments of our society in the pursuit of home-ownership.
“Thus, all processes that would ensure proper harmonisation of the various procedures and instruments of land acquisition/transfer across the country are currently being addressed,’’ Bukar said.
He said the ministry was collaborating with other agencies as the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, NLC, TUC, Cooperative Societies, and Nigeria Employer’s Consultative Association (NECA) to deliver affordable housing for low-income earners.
Bukar added that agencies under the ministry were developing initiatives to incorporate micro-enterprises, such as agro-allied ventures into the housing scheme to generate more employment opportunities.
He stated that such initiatives would create wealth for beneficiaries to repay their loans at ease. According to him, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria’s single-digit interest rate of six per cent on mortgage and home renovation loans was the lowest compared to the open market.
“The ongoing National Housing Programme across the federation is an initiative specially designed to encourage local manufacturers, professionals, artisans and craftsmen towards enhancing employment and wealth creation.
“The housing programmes only allow the use of home-grown building materials and components in the construction of the houses except where it is established that the components cannot be produced locally or production capacity is inadequate,’’ he stressed.
Dr. Famous Eseduwa, Coordinator of the programme said the event was a yearly one where all stakeholders in the building industry came together to brainstorm and proffer ideas to move the sector forward. He assured participants that everything had been put in place to ensure that the session was fruitful and called on all stakeholders to have the right attitude and commitment to make the event a rewarding one.
Mr. Rowland Abonta, President, Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, speaking on housing deficit said the country should do its national housing survey and not depend on the blanket figures given by international bodies.
Abonta said it required a proactive government to take a decision to direct investment in other sectors of housing needs such as the low income and the medium income.
He said government ought to make a policy statement that would ensure that developers built houses that would cater to low and medium-income earners to redistribute.
Abonta was optimistic that the council would come up with strategies and recommendations that would be employed to address the acute housing shortage in the low and medium-income earners’ range.
The theme of the meeting which has in attendance housing stakeholders from both the public and private sector is “Housing Development and Consumer Credit as Strategies for National Prosperity’’.
Credit: Daily Times