By Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The federal government will adopt six different models of houses to build for the six geographical regions of Nigeria in its new national mass housing programme, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has disclosed.
In a statement from his senior media aide, Hakeem Bello, on Sunday in Abuja, he stated that the models were adopted to reflect the cultural preferences of the country’s geopolitical zones.
He said this is how the government plans to achieve a sustainable housing programme for the country, and that a little over N30 billion has been allocated to start building these houses in the 2016 national budget.
The statement said Fashola met with the National Assembly Committees on Housing to tell them how the national housing programme would be implemented in 2016.
It said he disclosed this plan to the legislators.
The minister said while there could be the desire that government should do what everybody has done in the past, and probably end up with the same old results, the focus of the present administration was more on a sustainable housing plan.
Fashola explained to the legislators that the government started with 480 designs but the technical department of the ministry worked hard to reduce them to a manageable numbers.
He said the adopted designs will drive industrialisation; standardisation; and mass production of building materials.
“So, this department, in my view, deserves commendation for reducing a potential 480 designs a year, which can be over 1,000 over four years, to 12 designs which we now have and which we want to reduce further to about six in a way that it responds to the broad cultural challenges of our country,” Fashola said.
He further stated the importance of the cultural basis for the national housing programme, saying: “Some of the feedbacks that we found, because the basis for cultural design first is consultation; you don’t just sit down and design and say go and give them, is that some of the buildings built for the IDPs, they refused to live there.
“It was a cultural shock for them. They were transiting from what they were used to into what they were not used to, so they stayed outside.”