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Edo Government Set to Address 300,000 Housing Deficit

In order to reduce the acute housing shortage for its citizens, the Edo State Government, last week, promised to address the 300,000 housing deficit and provide affordable houses for the people.

Speaking on the issue, the Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, said the state government was willing to build affordable houses across the state to address the over 300,000 housing deficit faced by the people.

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He stated this at a two-day workshop on housing with the theme, “Quest for Adequate and Sustainable Real Estate for Edo People”, organised by the state government in Benin.

The deputy governor who represented the Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, said the nation is faced with over 17 million housing deficit and Edo State is contributing over 300,000 to it. He, however, assured the people that the present administration would do all within its reach to address the deficit.

ALSO READ: 5 Cities with the Highest Housing Deficit in Nigeria

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“I challenge the participants in this workshop to come up with affordable models that are within the reach of the masses unlike the housing schemes obtainable in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Those houses were acquired by the rich and not the civil servants whom it was meant for and at the end of the day, the deficits remained while the houses stand empty because the costs were too high. So, we don’t want that in Edo State. We want affordable houses for both the average and low-income earners,” he said.

Shaibu said the workshop was to use Edo as a model to other states in terms of housing. “This workshop is a real business that would turn Edo State into a hub utilising the geographical location,” he emphasised.

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He noted that the present administration is organising several workshops to have the template and blueprint to drive the process of development in the state such that when commissioners and other aides come on board, there will already be a sense of direction and something to work on.

According to him, a system that does not plan is planning to fail, as such, the Obaseki administration was keen on avoiding failure, hence, it has embarked on these workshops to develop the state and make it the envy of other states in the country.

Shaibu revealed that the draft of a bill that would be sent to the House of Assembly was being worked on by the state government to give legal backing to building plans in the state with a view to addressing the housing deficit in the long run.

ALSO READ: What You Need to Know About Low-Cost Housing in Nigeria

In his address, Chairman of the workshop, Alhaji Ali Magashi of Aso Savings and Loans Limited, commended Governor Obaseki for the well-thought out the workshop on housing, saying that it goes to show that when educated people are at the helm of affairs in the political scene, things will be less difficult.

Speaking on the topic, “Affordable Housing Financing in a Developing Economy”, Magashi said it is regrettable that there is no appreciable success in the crusade for affordable housing development in the country. He, therefore, tasked the participants to see the workshop as an opportunity to proffer solution to the housing challenges not only in the state but the country at large.

“The governor is saying that he needs the best for his people and wants us to sit down and brainstorm and tell him how to do it. This is a challenge to us and we need to stand up to this challenge and make this initiative of the governor work by making housing financing work in Nigeria,” he said.

Magashi also suggested that the governor constitutes an advisory committee that would serve as a monitoring team that would give him feedback on the implementation of his housing policies.

The two-day workshop, which commenced on Thursday, April 28, 2017, had stakeholders from real estate and financial institutions from across the country in attendance.

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