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FG seeks increased support from states to tackle housing challenge

The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN, has called on
state governments to recommit to housing development in their respective states in order to increase access to affordable housing to the citizenry.

Fashola spoke in his keynote address at the meeting of the
States’ Commissioners responsible for housing matters during the10th
Meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development in Lagos.

The theme of the meeting was “Housing Development as a Catalyst for Job
Creation, Social Inclusion and Economic Development.”

 The Minister explained that the inequality among the nations and people
can be reduced drastically if housing need of the poor is considerably
addressed in the states.  

“These are some of the reasons why I seek to persuade all of you to go
back to your States to persuade your Governors to re-commit to housing
development. I said re-commit, because I am aware that many states are
doing something, but you will agree that there is a scope to improve and
scale up,” he said

“One reason why this will require an All of Government Action is the fact
That land is a critical component of capital formation and it is controlled by
the states (not the Federal Government)and I am persuaded that
appropriate, targeted and purposeful use of land, such as for  the
development of housing by the states and private sector, will unleash
prosperity in all states that aggregates to national prosperity,”Fashola
explained.

The Minister gave example of Lagos State days of the LEDB, LSDPC and Lateef Jakande has been and added that the present Governor Babajide Sanwo- Olu, remains example of what state governments can do to deepen housing supply and reap the benefits that comes with it.

Buttressing his position, Fashola stated that land and housing is a sub-national matter of jurisdictions, pointing out that what the states do to facilitate processing of land titles, documentation, Certificate of Occupancy and other Geographic Information (GIS) details will go a long way in facilitating easy housing delivery.

Accordingly, he stated that appropriate, targeted and purposeful use of land, such as for the development of housing by the states and private sector, will unleash prosperity in all states that aggregates to national prosperity.

The Minister informed the meeting that the Federal Government is undertaking a National Housing Programme in 34 states aggregating to about 5,000 housing units, and trying to complete an inherited ministerial pilot housing scheme across the states which has a little over 6,000units.

Fashola said that the decisions to recommit to housing development by
State governments would facilitate the creation of variety of jobs because the services of various professionals in the built industry such as town planners, architect would be required, adding that artisans like masons, plumbers, carpenters and food vendors  would not be left out of the value chain of prosperity resulting from economic development.

“When construction actively starts, ‘the economic explosion happens,
Supplies of sand, cement, reinforcements, roofing, plumbing, painting, and
other components get to work” and “this drives a critical business in all our
states, the micro small and medium enterprises who make or supply  these
building components, “he emphasized.

In the same vein, he explained that the Federal Housing Authority and
Federal Mortgage Bank are also intervening as federal agencies in
respective housing development directly through cooperative societies and
the provision of development loans and mortgage loans.


But all these, he added, account for only a small amount of the need across
the nation for many reasons not excluding the limited amount of land
available to these federal agencies.

In his opening remarks, the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu,
while assuring participants at the council of implementing the
recommendations of the meeting, disclosed that the state had begun to
implement the commendations agreed on at the 9thNationalCouncil on
Lands Housing and Urban Development, on making land available for
Building by providing lands to build a mini city at Imota in Ikorodu   Division
of Lagos State.

He said the state would develop about 3,500 housing units of 2and3
bedrooms in phases for civil servants and those in the informal sector who
fall within the category of low income earners and to be acquired at a single
digit interest rate mortgage plan that could span a period of 15years. He
added that his administration was determined to develop decent homes
within the states as well as meet the housing needs of the citizens
irrespective of their location.

Mr Governor, who said that home ownership was a vital tool for taking
people out of poverty, assured the council that Lagos State would
collaborate with the Private sector to adopt the monthly rent payment as
proposed by the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola,
SAN.

In his vote of thanks, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works
And Housing, Babangida Hussaini, commended the excellent leadership of
the works and housing sectors.

He also noted the commitment of Council Members to the 10th Meeting of
the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development and urged
them to go back and implement the Council Resolutions.

Written by ExpressDay

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