Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has asked state governments to cut down the bottlenecks in processing of land documents and collection of certificate of occupancy to further enhance ease of doing business in Nigeria.
He gave the advice at the 2020 National House Fair held in Abuja, saying since the custody of land “is technically within the purview of the states, it behoves them to make sure the impediments are removed.”
Osinbajo, who was represented at the house fair by Mr. Abubakar Aliyu, Minister of State for Works and Housing, stated that housing would play a major role in the government’s effort to reduce poverty in the country.
He said: “As we are all aware, the Land Use Act has technically vested the housing responsibility on states and local governments, the custodians of land in the country.
“This presupposes that these two tiers of government must be at the forefront in housing development.
“As a government, we have identified land titling as a rapid tool for economic development as it creates the basis for land taxation, access to credit, increased market value and investment stimulation, amongst others.
“I wish to appeal to state governments to ease-up and quicken the process of issuance of Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O) and other titles.”
Acknowledging the aptness of this year’s theme, “Gateway to Better Life: Affordable Housing Solutions”, to the country’s housing journey, the vice president disclosed that the federal government was determined to lift 100 million Nigerians from poverty in the next 10 years.
In line with the Economic Sustainability Plan, he explained that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had approved the sum of N200 billion for 300,000 households to enable Family Homes Funds Limited (FHFL) finance the construction of social housing units for low-income earners.
According to him, the programme was designed for the purpose of reducing the housing deficit through collaboration with public and private entities by creating a robust housing management of public buildings, hostel accommodation, among others.
He said the pilot project of the Affordable Housing Development and Management Initiative (AHDMI) would commence in October 2020 in Gwagwalada with the construction of 2,500 mixed housing units under a Public- Private Partnership (PPP).
In his remarks, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi called on the federal government to make policies that would enhance the provision of affordable housing for Nigerians, noting that national development could only be possible when basic needs are met.
The traditional ruler enjoined his colleagues to work very closely with the government and the private sector in the development and provision of affordable housing for the citizenry.
He added that by their status, traditional rulers are natural custodians of land and therefore relevant in the development of their communities through the provision of affordable housing for their citizens.