Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, has solicited the support of the various states of the federation in addressing the nation’s housing deficit.
Fashola, who spoke in Abuja at the 8th meeting of the National Council on Lands and Urban Development, also declared that the problem of housing was purely an urban one as people in rural areas hardly face such challenges.
He stressed that apart from housing, other challenges that are peculiar to urban settlements were traffic congestion and refuse disposal.
As the custodians of lands, Fashola appealed to states to make lands available for housing construction as part of overall efforts to resolve the housing needs, adding that the “the cooperation between us and the states must be the foundation for the prosperity that we want to achieve.”
Fashola stated that it was the quest to change the poverty narrative and enthrone prosperity that informed the theme of this year’s council meeting: “Housing Development and Consumer Credit as Strategies for National Prosperity.”
The minister pointed out that President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration that his administration was targeting the creation of 100 million jobs in 10 years was easily realisable through the housing sector.
In his presentation, the Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Ahmed Dangiwa, unveiled various products for affordable homes.
The bank, he said, has the primary mandate of financing affordable housing for the low and middle income earners in both the formal and informal sectors through the National Housing Fund (NHF) scheme by registering and contributing 2.5 per cent of their monthly income.
According to him, the overall objective was to provide cheap source of loan-able funds to nurture and sustain the mortgage industry and eventually facilitate affordable home-ownership for the low and medium income group in the country.