Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to tackle the housing deficit, especially housing for low income earners in the country.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of States for Power, Works and Housing, Mr Suleiman Hassan, said this in Abuja on Tuesday at a One-Day High-Level Dialogue on a Pro-Poor PPP Housing programme tagged: ” Build for Nigeria ”
The programme was organised by the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities.
The Vice President, who received the policy brief/ action plan, said the task of bridging the housing deficit was a collective one, adding that all hands must be on deck to address all issues concern.
According to him, the government would ensure it looked at the problems of housing accommodation in our universities to ensure effective learning.
” As you are aware, a poorly or barely housed student is one that surely exposed to lacking concentration and focus on his/her studies.
” It is therefore my fervent hope that the ‘Build for Nigeria initiative’ become a success.”
He said the ministry of power, works and housing was collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria and Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria and other stakeholders to provide housing in the country, especially housing for low income earners.
He added that the present administration was currently constructing mass and affordable housing across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT through the National Housing Scheme.
He also urged the Vice-Chancellors to take a deep look at the academic curriculum of the tertiary institutions, especially as it affects students in the construction/built industry.
Earlier, Prof. Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Former Director, UN-Habitat, African Regional Office, said it was time Nigeria provide access to adequate, safe and affordable housing for all.
He said that failure to provide the aforementioned would lead to low standard of living of the people.
He also stated that provision of affordable housing and infrastructure should be given top priority as this would help grow the economy.
Prof. Michael Faborode, General Secretary, Committee of Vice-Chancellors said the challenges of house accommodation in tertiary institutions was becoming worrisome as most hostels are an eyesore.
Faborode said the committee had decided to form a coalition with stakeholders with the promise to harness all the views to address the challenges.
” No Nigerian, however, poor deserve to live under the bridge or in shanties.
” We must provide for them to have a minimum life they ought to have.
” We shall be working with the various group of government, civil organisation and others to address the housing deficit,” he said.
Also, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, called for sufficient goodwill from stakeholders to have adequate housing and address the deficit in the country.
He said the tragedy of demolition had continued to hit Nigerians and as such must be provided with adequate shelter to have a meaningful livelihood. Housing for low income earners must be maintained as top priority.