By Evelyn Okakwu
the federal government has stated that it plans to ensure the provision of free lands to private developers partnering with it, in the revitalization of the housing sector.
Speaking during this year’s Ministerial Platform for the sector, the minister of Lands Housing and Urban Development, Mrs Akon Eyakenyi said the decision was part of government’s efforts to encourage the private sector, and boost housing delivery.
“When we provide the lands, it will bring down the cost, since developers will not have to pay for the land used in production, thereby reducing the cost of housing,” she stated.
She said the ministry has already embarked upon a National Housing survey to ascertain the actual number of housing deficit in order to meaningfully address the housing gap, as well as the capacity requirements for transforming the housing and ensuring affordable housing.
“In a short time, the pilot study will be carried out in the Federal Capital Territory, (the FCT, representing the best housing case scenario) and one other state that will symbolize the worst case scenario, to determine the magnitude of the housing deficit in Nigeria.”
The Minister added that within the period of 2010-2014, a total of 43, 126 housing units were added to the national stock, through various interventions by the ministry, in collaboration with sister Agencies; the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, (FMBN) and the Federal Housing Authority (FHA).
Speaking earlier the Minister of information, Labaran Maku who hosted the event, said the Nigerian masses need also to play their own role in ensuring that affordable housing delivery becomes a success in the country.
“For any country to be developed; there has to be commitments on all sectors; individual and stake holders must follow laid down rules.
When you make a foundation of for 1 storey building and end up having as much as 2, 3 or even more storey buildings on the foundation, then those living in the building can best be described as living in their own graves.”
“Individuals and stake holders must take responsibilities,” he added, stressing that the housing sector remains the surest sector for job creation.