How to Arrest Housing Deficit, by Buhari…Wants Governors to Build 250,000 Housing Units Yearly
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari Monday, charged the 22 governors of the All Progressives Congress, APC- states to build 250,000 housing units annually as a sure way of addressing the housing crisis in Nigeria. He spoke at the opening session of the two-day National Economic Council, NEC, retreat in Abuja, pleading with foreign investors and local construction companies to take part in the new effort to overturn Nigeria’s housing deficit.
According to President Buhari this would enable them to fulfil the election campaign promise of providing one million houses for Nigerians yearly.
He said: “Some estimates put Nigeria’s housing deficit at about sixteen million units. In our successful campaign to win the general elections last year our party, the APC, promised to build a million housing units a year. This will turn out to be a very tall order unless the federal government builds 250,000 units. The 22 APC states together manage another two hundred and fifty thousand units.”
Buhari listed the challenges in the housing sector to include severe shortage of housing, high rents, unaffordable prices for prospective buyers especially middle and low-income earners.
“In addition, red tape, corruption and plain public service inefficiency lead to long delays in obtaining ownership of title documents. Again, there are no long term funding sources for mortgage purposes.
“These hurdles are by no means easy to scale, but we must find solutions to the housing deficit. This Retreat might start by looking at the laws,” he said.
The president said the problems facing manufacturing in Nigeria to include inadequate infrastructure such as power, roads, security “leading to increase in costs of making Made-in Nigeria goods pricier than imports, high cost of borrowing money.”
He said his administration would commence a fresh campaign to encourage Nigerians to patronise made-in-Nigeria goods. “Example, all uniforms in government-sponsored institutions should be sourced from local factories,” he said.
“We need to protect our workers from exploitation, but unions must cooperate with entrepreneurs to substantially improve productivity and quality of products if we are to move forward,” he charged labour.
In his welcome address, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who is the Chairman of the NEC, said that the retreat was organised to address the problems created by over-reliance on oil. Governors, ministers among other captains of industry and politicians attended the retreat.