Osibanjo, Saraki, Dogara to Participate in Parley on Housing Deficit

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By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

Vice-President Yemi Osibanjo, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, state governors and the private sector will soon converge on Abuja to brainstorm on the lingering issue of housing deficit facing the country.

They are expected to brainstorm at this year’s Abuja International Housing Show. The chief executive officer of the show, Festus Adebayo, in a chat with reporters on Wednesday in Abuja said other players from the World Bank and African countries are expected to join the long list of stakeholders that will brainstorm on housing issues.

The event, which is the 12th in the series, expected to kick off at the International Conference Centre (ICC) from July 16, is also expected to address mortgage refinancing and how Nigerians can leverage on existing opportunities to own their houses.

Adebayo said: “For the 12th Abuja Housing Show, Vice-President Yemi Osibanjo will declare the event open on July 16, 2018. As you might have observed, the Nigerian economy has been recording growth from what  I have been reading or what they have been showing us on television.

“But despite the growth that we are hearing, we still have high rate of unemployment in the country. Following that, championing the 12th Abuja Housing Show is to address how we can use housing to create employment and drive the Nigerian economy.

“On every housing estate that you see they are different category of workers that you see; the professional, architect, engineers, land surveyors etc, are all there. You will also need the artisans like the carpenter. You will even see somebody that is riding okada. You will also see the women selling food for the workers. Then when you look at the effect of housing on the economy, you will also discover that the effect is multiplying.”

According to him, “What we are saying here is that housing is the new way to gear up Nigeria’s economy. In the last three years that Buhari government came I can tell you that housing has not witnessed so much increase in terms of performance.

“The kind of attention we are saying is that there are laws in the National Assembly that are waiting for attention. If these laws are not passed like the Land Use Act which is still in the hands of the National Assembly, how do we work on these laws so that the problem of access to land, problem of mortgage can be addressed? Once we don’t address the issue of land, we can never witness an effective mortgage system in Nigeria.”

Key players from the private sector and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will also join in the parley, geared towards proffering solutions to the housing deficit among Nigerians.

He revealed that 30 housing commissioners have confirmed their participation and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has called me to tell me that he would be at the event.