A former Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr. Dubem Onyia has faulted the federal and state governments housing policies, saying they were meant to favor the rich, especially the political class.
Onyia who spoke in Enugu at the 2016 first Enugu Housing/ Real Estate Development Forum, organized by the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), blamed the retarded growth in Nigeria’s housing sector on the domination of the sector by untrained people instead of professionals.
He explained that except the current policies were reviewed, housing would remain a challenge in the country. He added that efforts should be made to accommodate the needs of the poor masses that constitute over 75per cent of the population of the country.
The former Minister expressed regret that whenever the Government talks about building a real estate, it is actually for the elite and not for the low-income earners.
“Housing projects by the Federal and State governments are meant for the elite. You don’t build for the lower class people. I am happy that the Commissioner for Housing in Enugu State is here. I want to see that by the end of this programme, the common man in Nigeria will have hope for affordable housing”, he said.
President of ECCIMA, Ugo Chime said the chamber working with Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REdasDAN) chose to invite all stakeholders not only in improving housing but creating employment in the country.
Chime said they were providing training to artisans with the support of UKAID because they believe that unskilled work force were the key stakeholders in the housing sector.
Citing the experience of South-Africa and United States where the real estate sector contributes 60 per cent and 65 per cent respectively to their Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the ECCIMA President expressed the belief that housing development could save the country from recession and put her back to the path of economic growth and sustainable development.
Source: The Guardian