Housing Corporations Decry Usurpation of Statutory Responsibilities by State, Federal Ministries

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By Adedayo Akinwale

The Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria (AHCN), has decried the usurpation of statutory responsibilities of housing agency in housing construction and development by states and federal housing ministries.

The President/Chairman of the Council, Dr. Victor Onukwugha, disclosed this on Monday while addressing a press conference in Abuja.

The association equally said while it commended the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan to build 300,000 housing units annually to mitigate the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, if the sustainability plan must succeed, the involvement of the state housing corporations were certainly inevitable to achieve the targeted 300,000 housing units.

Onukwugha noted that these state housing agencies had demonstrated over the last three decades that they were able to rise up to the challenges of housing provision for the teeming Nigerian masses with enabling environment.

He stated: “Ministries both at the federal and state levels have no business in direct construction. Usurpation of the statutory responsibilities of housing agency in housing construction and development for state governments by the ministries is purely an unnecessary duplication of duty which will in the long run cause distraction, needless rivalry, unfair competition and sheer wastages and repetition of efforts and resources.

“Incessant building collapse, improper planning of our cities, charlatanism, usage of fake building materials among others are some of the consequences of distraction arising from this usurpation and participation of ministry in direct construction.”

The president stressed that the housing ministries should strictly reduce its activities to policy formulation and monitor her statutory parastatals to ensure policy compliance and accomplishment.

Onukwugha said there was need to reposition the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and state housing agencies to spearhead the provision of social housing.

The president further stressed that one major challenge that affected past mass housing delivery was political interference which most often affects projects.

Onukwugha decried lack of continuity of housing programmes and policies by successive governments as each regime usually jettison whatever housing programmes put in place by preceding government no matter how decent and innovative such programme may be.

He said this derailment in policy implementation was principally responsible for increasing housing deficit in the nation.

Onukwugha said there was an urgent need to deviate from this political sentiment and depart from the usual practice of discrediting viable policies of past regimes.