By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives committee on Housing and Habitat on Tuesday disclosed that it’s will working towards amending the National Housing Fund Act to address the housing deficit in Nigeria.
The committee equally revealed that, the amendment in question would include the informal sector which currently not adequately not covered in the act.
The chairman of the committee, Mustapha Dawaki who disclosed these at the standing committee inaugural meeting said “We have housing deficit in Nigeria. It is only in Nigeria that you see someone who has been working for several years and after retirement does not have a roof over his head.
“It is the work of this committee to make sure that this is corrected, even if it is the housing Act that has a problem, it should be revisited and see how we can make some amendments.
“This is to ensure that those that really sacrifice their entire lives working for the country and in other sectors of the economy, at the end of the day, should have roofs over their heads.
“That is why the NHF Act should be revisited to ensure that what is deducted from employees and employers contribution should also be a substantial amount that at the end of the day, when you want to acquire a house, plus the mortgage that the Federal Mortgage Bank will give, it should be able to get you a two or three bedroom apartment owned by you.
“We should use our legislative powers to ensure that whatever we see that will bring progress to the committee and the entire nation, we should not hesitate as a committee”.
Supporting the chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Almustapha (APC, Sokoto) said, “housing and habitats translates to shelter so we need to make a difference. we need to go further by amending that Act. We need to have for have a housing fund by way of first line charge. For instance, if a farmer can raise two hundred thousand income from his farm he should be able to access to this funds”.