The Federal Government of Nigeria allocated N35 billion to National Mass Housing programme in the 2018 budget proposal.According to the minister of power, works and housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola during an interactive session with members of 21 civil society organisations (CSOs) in Lagos, he said the federal government’s pilot schemes for mass housing provision has reached advanced stages of completion in thirty-three states of the federation.
According to him, the mass housing construction had reached roofing level in some states, while the painting works have commenced in some others states. He also stated that it is just the foundation works that are going on in a few states.On slow pace movement in delivering the mass and affordable housing scheme for Nigerians, Fashola said that the Federal Government was working on avoiding mistakes of previous housing projects that saw the houses abandoned.According to the minister, this was the first time that Nigeria is undertaking a national housing scheme after Alhaji Shehu Shagari’s housing scheme and that there have been other housing projects with previous governments in which they built houses but a national housing scheme, this is the second time. Shagari’s was the first,” he said.
The minister explained that some houses constructed by some past administrations were not occupied because they did not take into cognisance the issues of culture of the people, climate and location of projects.He also said all across the country you will see houses, but they are not occupied.In relation to how Nigerians can have easy access to the housing units, the minister explained that in 2016, the government took time to sample opinions of Nigerians across the country on what type of houses they wanted and how much they could afford.
In addition, he said that state governors were approached for land at suitable locations to make the houses attractive for intending house owners.“At this moment, we are constructing in thirty-three states, when we finish, then we would subject that design to affordability test. When we find it works, then we will subject it to acceptability test,” he said.
However, Nigeria’s real estate sector has been going through a tough time since the country went into a recession two years ago and a sharply devalued currency, leading to so many vacant houses in the major cities of Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt due to low purchasing power of accommodation seekers. He cited some of the factors responsible for empty houses, Chief Executive Officer, FESADEB Communications Limited, Festus Adebayo, stated that there were many dimensions to the issue of unoccupied estates in Abuja. Some of them, he said, were built not to be occupied, because they were used for money laundering.He said “the owners did not have the opportunity of taking the money to the bank because they can be apprehended.
Source: THIS DAY