FG pledges massive housing delivery [Sun, The (Nigeria)]
(Sun, The (Nigeria) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) • Jonathan tasks private sector
The Federal Government said yesterday it would provide houses for millions of Nigerians. This is even as it called on the private sector, to as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility, provide houses for their workers.President Goodluck Jonathan stated this in Abuja during the opening of the fourth annual Building and Construction Economic Roundtable (BCERT), organized by the Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria (QSRBN).
The focus of this year's QSRBN roundtable is the provision of affordable new homes for Nigerians through the development of a master plan, which takes into cognizance, the critical factors for sustainable housing delivery.
Jonathan, who was represented by the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Akon Etim Eyakenyi, said the decision of the board to imbibe the culture of institutionalization of planning to drive the effective implementation of policies, programmes and projects, was laudable.
He noted that bridging the national housing deficit estimated at 17 million units, will entail the delivery of housing units on a massive scale through an integrated approach involving all stakeholders, which he said, is anchored on the development of a well-designed master plan.
"As embedded in your theme of this year's roundtable, we must jointly continue to identify the critical factors that have made houses to be priced out of the reach of the average Nigerian with a view to redressing this ugly and unpleasant situation.
"It is therefore, our expectation that your board will join the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and other key stakeholders in the building and construction industry to evolve a holistic and innovative approach for mass housing delivery, anchored on quality, accessibility and affordability.
"I also wish to seize this opportunity to urge employers of labour in the organized private sector to make adequate provision for access to affordable homes to their employees as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility.
"Through their co-operative societies, members of the workers' unions can be assisted to own their homes. We must also be mindful that the housing needs of informal sector workers equally deserve priority attention," Jonathan said.
The President assured the board of the support and assistance of the Federal Government to any scheme that will lead to seamless provision of new homes to Nigerians.
In his remarks, the QSRBN president, Mallam Husaini Dikko, noted that housing has always been a major challenge in Nigeria.
Dikko noted that housing is generally a costly asset whose ownership is often beyond the income of a good number of citizens who live below the poverty line.
"Affordability is therefore, a major issue in house ownership and thus, of major concern to government and the citizens.
"This being the case, reliance on interplay of market forces will not be helpful in resolving the problem of access to home ownership in Nigeria.
"Therefore, an intervention must come somewhere and somehow. This intervention can come in the form of subsidies and the safety nets to the segment of the citizenry that is most vulnerable to deprivation of access to home ownership", he said.
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