Tony Ailemen, Abuja
All is now set for a new housing policy in Nigeria as Federal government concludes preparations to unveil a new policy that will guarantee affordable houses for all Nigerians.
The UNION gathered in Abuja, Friday that as part of the new policy, Federal Government, through the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing is planning to buy over estates that are currently not functioning, all over the country, with the aim of selling them to Nigerians at affordable rates.
The unveiling of the new housing policy, is aimed at correcting previous anomalies in the sector which has made it difficult for Nigerians to own houses because of the high cost of securing such houses.
Experts in housing sector over the years had posited that there is a gap of over 17 million housing deficits existing in the sector despite the Billions of Naira budgeted to ease housing needs in the country.
Most of the estates built by both government and private property developers are currently unoccupied because of the high cost placed on them by the developers, while some have actually been taken over by reptiles, across the country.
But The UNION gathered that the new housing policy, which will be unveiled on Monday by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, at a two-day workshop, will draw all stakeholders, including State Governors and members of the organized private sector to Abuja to brainstorm on the issue and challenges of providing cheap houses for Nigerians.
A Senior official of the Ministry, Arc. Eucharia Alozie, who spoke with The UNION on the issue, in Abuja disclosed that federal government is working with the German Agency for International Development (GIZ), as well as Nigerian stakeholders, with the view to building relevant data of Nigerians to help government plan a more affordable housing policy.
Arc. Alozie who spoke in the presence of Mr. Christoph Pannhausen of GIZ, and Dr. Joshua Egbagbe, Executive Chairman of Value Chain Consult Conglomerate, said a Technical Working Group TWG has been put in place to fashion out sustainable and affordable housing policy for Nigeria.
“This is in furtherance of the stakeholders summit on affordable housing delivery in Nigeria which will be based on five pillars including, land, incentives and concession, off takers strategy, Stakeholders and strategy, as well as finance”, she said.
She also disclosed that the summit will afford both the public and private sector opportunities to fashion out affordable and sustainable policies for housing sector in Nigeria.
“This Programme will kick start development of affordable housing in Nigeria, since it will develop the blue print for affordable housing policy for the country.
“It will foster a good relationship between the public and private sector to expose the investment potentials in the housing sector.
“Government aim is to make affordable houses available and the Minister will also use the opportunity to unveil a new housing policy for Nigeria.
” For the first time, we are implementing policies that will ensure that the off takers occupy the central position and be able to structure the housing programme taking the off takers into consideration.
“What we have in mind is to build a Nigerian house and so it is not going to be the same as before. Nigerians will be able to ask questions and get clarifications on the best way to get affordable houses in Nigeria.
“You know, there is a change and new people have come with new ideas; we think that it is right to provide a forum that will enable them communicate effectively with Nigerians and also allow the people to bare their minds on what they need.
“We need the governors of states to be able to address those things that make housing affordable”, she said.