Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo

The Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo will  Monday in Abuja, declare open the 12th Abuja International Housing show (AIH) even as Turkey, United Arab Emirate, India, China, Ghana and others have confirmed their attendance at the annual event.

Mr. Festus Adebayo, the promoter of the event said the 12th edition will be used by every stakeholder in the industry to address housing affordability, access to land, housing finance among several challenges retarding the growth of the sector.

He said: “The event shall be concerned with the issue of alternative funding for housing development. We hear that the economy is growing and at the same time there is growing unemployment which shouldn’t be.

“The event will espouse to government that housing can be used as driver of the economy because if you grow the economy with housing, the unemployment problem will be arrested because of its multiplier effects on the economy, from the level of the artisan to the level of the professionals you can be rest assured that with housing a lot of employment will be created.”

Adebayo acknowledged that since the event started 12 years ago, it has succeeded in attracting local and foreign direct investment into the country, adding: “From our data, Turkey, has recorded the highest number of attendants at the show followed by India, the Chinese, U.S, United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland. For this year we have United Arab Emirate (UAE), leading with highest participants. They have beaten others to it and this is followed with Turkey, India, China, Kenya and Ghana. The Minister of Housing for Ghana referred to as the Deputy Minister for Works and Housing has confirmed his attendance at the at the event.”

On what it takes to bankroll the annual event, he added: “AIHS started in 2005 and by the grace of God, we shall very soon roll into its 12 edition. The idea started crystallizing during my various interactions with my mentors in the sector, coupled with the fact that I have gathered unique experience attending housing programmes outside Nigeria for the development of the sector. I then asked myself, how will (we) Nigerians continue to attend these programmes.

“I then came with the conclusion that we can though differently replicate this in Nigeria to help transform the sector where all the stakeholders are brought together to rub minds. By the way I don’t belong to any of the professional bodies in the sector as I have always remained neutral, devoting my effort on the promotion and advocacy of housing development and growth across the country. I actually have no reason to compete with any of the professional body because that is not my field. My field is to bring them together through advocacy to make them agree and disagree on pertinent issues.

“The annual exhibition has been able to bring together major stakeholders in the industry: building materials manufacturer, Architects, Estate Surveyors and Valuers, REDAN members etc and it is on record that the programme has featured policy makers like the leaders of the two law making organs, and governors. The show has succeeded in proffering solution to the problem of construction development, development, mortgage development in the country.”