Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), has vowed to repeal Nigeria’s existing land use act if he becomes President.
The Land Use Act, enacted in 1978, governs land regulation in the country, but has long been criticised for vesting too much power in state governors who are responsible for allocation of land.
While speaking at a town hall meeting with presidential candidates on the state of Nigeria’s housing market on Saturday, January 12, 2019, Sowore said “What we need is to return to land ownership, but we must be careful not to return to the kind of customary ownership of land that we had in Nigeria before independence in which just a few people owned land to the extent that the majority are left without nothing.”
The media mogul also promised to turn Nigeria into a construction site if elected in the February 16 presidential election.
Arguing that the Nigerian government must invest in a housing drive that would provide shelter for all, Sowere said, “Government must invest in shelter that every Nigerian citizen must be entitled to a place to lay their heads at night.
“What I propose is to put aside $3.6 billion and we’ll turn this country into a construction site.
“We’re in need of 17 million homes, over 80 million Nigerians are without homes. We need to set the standard that an average of five Nigerians should be entitled to a house: a father, a mother, and at least three kids.”
He said he’d increase the national minimum wage to N100,000 so that workers will be able to afford houses.
“What I’m going to do is to increase the salary of an average worker to N100,000. I’m going to make sure that the average Nigerian worker can get N2 million mortgage loan.
“We have to have a policy where we prioritise mortgage for low income workers and the best way to do it is to give them a minimum wage that’s a living wage,” he said.
He also promised that housing would be a fundamental human right under his administration, urging Nigerians to stop voting for leaders who deny them of shelter.
“It’s very important to tell Nigerians that we can build Nigeria out of poverty,” he said.
Other presidential candidates present at Saturday’s event, which took place at the University of Lagos, Yaba, are Kingsley Moghalu of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Obiageli Ezekwesili of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Fela Durotoye of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), and Isaac Ositelu of the Accord Party (AP).
Other presidential candidates that were billed to speak at the event but failed to show up are President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Jerry Gana of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Credit: The Culture Custodian