The long wait finally came to an end on Wednesday as President Muhammadu Buhari assigned his newly-appointed ministers offices. Of all portfolios assigned, that of the immediate past Governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) has been greeted with mixed reaction, albeit more of positivity, goodwill, and expectations. Power, Works and Housing was assigned to the popularly tagged ‘workaholic’ man and many Nigerians have said that they trust him to deliver following his previous record and accomplishments as the Governor of Lagos state.
On ShelterMatters today, Nigeria Real Estate hub (NREH) decided to get the reactions and expectations of professionals in the housing sector. In general, there is the believe that Fashola will definitely deliver owing to the fact that he now plays in the federal level and should be able to do more than what he was able to achieve in Lagos state.
The Manager, Finance and Operations Officer of Realty Point Ltd, Mr. Debo Adegbenro, had this to say: ” A number of people have expressed joy, there’s been so much happiness about his appointment as minister of power, works and housing and that is because people believe their expectations will not be cut short.”
“There is a housing deficit and that is a fact. There was housing deficit in Lagos state which was attempted to be addressed before he left as governor of Lagos state a few months ago. The housing provision was termed affordable but not everyone could afford it. Since he now operates on a broader spectrum, that is the federal level, he will now have access to more things. He can exercise bigger muscle at that level.”
“In the state level, maybe he was constrained and due to that, housing that were provided could not be afforded by majority of the people in the middle class. What I would expect is for housing to be afforded by the ‘common man’. He should be able to look at what the common man can afford. Because what he did in Lagos state can be said to be for the elites. He should look away, not entirely now, but he should concentrate on a different strata that has been created by the Nigerian society/economy.”
A Real Estate and Housing Finance expert, Mr. Akin Arogundade, said the Minsiter should work toward replicating Lagoshoms in every other states of the federation.
“I believe that the performance of the current minster and his telling performance in Lagos has earned him this very honored portfolio. It can be seen in the way he directed the affairs of housing in Lagos state, through particularly and notable of, which is the Lagoshoms, in driving initiatives that improved housing affordability for people of Lagos state and people who would not have been able to have access to housing through that window got an opportunity to get affordable housing and pay over a period of 10years. Now he is at the federal level, revolutionizing the ministry of housing and making it more vibrant towards addressing the housing deficit which is currently about 17million units will be something that will happen if the Lagoshoms idea is also spread across the state of the federation. That will increase the level of access to affordable housing in Nigeria. Since 1977, there was festac which was driven by the ministry of housing through the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and the federal mortgage bank (FMBN). I will expect that such initiatives could be revolutionized and we could occupy those type of mass housing units.
What do you think? What are your expectations? Using the comment box below or the hashtag #shelterMatters on various social media platforms, What are your expectations from Fashola as the Minister for housing?