The United Nations Human settlements programme (UN-Habitat) has proposed a seven point housing agenda, and if adopted by the in-coming Buhari administration, this could transform Nigerian cities into functional, productive, equitable, resilient and safe place to live in.
The proposed agenda is consistent with research findings and policy advocacy that the agency have pursued over several years, harped on the need to transform cities as engines of wealth creation and ensure access to decent income, decent housing, safe drinking water and affordable transportation.
The document authored by the current director and chief scientific Advisor, UN-Habitat and most senior Nigerian diplomat working at the United Nations headquarters in Nairobi Kenya, Prof. Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, urged the new administration to enforce properly legislatives and planning rules, which would make access to land easier for the rapid housing and industrial expansion that will follow economic growth.
The seven point housing agenda are as follows:
- “We suggest that a national housing land Bank is established to identify and prepare service land for housing programme. In addition, the federal government in partnership with state governments should invest significantly in the development if an integrated land registry system by May 2016; the same should be done with digital mapping to cover major areas, at least 50 percent of our national space in the same period”
- The housing plan of the All Progressive Congress (APC) to build 1million homes during its first term should be driven by a market-supported model that has been successful in other countries.
- Government must focus on integrated Urban Basic services
- Leverage construction technology/partnership and new technologies. Nigeria has shown itself rather poor at leveraging frontier technologies and partnership both locally and globally.
- Evolve a robust mortgage system: our housing finance market is miniscule. Less than 1 percent Nigerians have residential mortgage compared to 70-90 percent in Europe and more than 70 percent in USA.
- Government should urgently bridge the huge investment gap in power infrastructure, as no elaboration is needed.
- Poor political and bureaucratic leadership is sure recipe for poor performance and ultimate failure.