Abuja — The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the National Population Commission (NPC) and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), has developed a framework to determine whether Nigerians are adequately housed or not through a national housing survey.
Speaking at the weekend at the presentation of the 2014 ministerial platform, the Minister of Housing, Lands and Urban Development, Mrs. Akon Eyakenyi, said the overall aim of the survey is to help establish the actual number of housing deficit in the country instead of relying on forecast and the quantum of the investments needed to meaningful address the housing gap as well as the capacity requirements for transforming the housing and urban development sector.
She said: “The work is being undertaken by a Ministerial committee under the Chairmanship of the Minister, with relevant stakeholders such as the CBN, NPC and NBS. In the short term, a pilot study will be carried out in the Federal Capital Territory FCT: representing the best housing scenario and one other state that will symbolise the worst housing case scenario to determine the magnitude of the housing deficit.”
On the high cost of building materials, she said government has concluded arrangement with building materials manufacturers on concession initiative. This, according to her, is intended to bring down the cost of housing development in the country. She said government will grant tax relief and other concessions, while the building and construction materials producers are expected to reciprocate through drastic reduction in the prices of the building components.
Eyakenyi said: “Towards this a two-day summit is being planned for the 3rd week of October in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance. The summit will focus on the concessions to be granted by the relevant parties in respect of major building materials and components within and outside the country.”
She acknowledged that government has signed a concessionary agreement with Messrs New FESTAC Property Development Company to build a new phase of Housing units to be called FESTAC Phase 11. According to her, only 3,798 Certificates of Occupancy have been granted, 1,756 consented granted for land titles and 3,787 serviced plots have been created by the ministry.
The new housing units which will be built on 1,126 hectares of reclaimed land from the swampy areas surround the town, adding that government is making efforts to restore FESTAC town to its glory.
According to her, President Goodluck Jonathan, has directed that the glory of FESTAC town be restored back. She said stakeholders in the sector, have been consulted with the view to addressing issues militating against the restoration of the town. She said the Ministry between July 2010 and September 2014, was able to able to add 43,126 housing units to the national housing stock through the various interventions by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and Federal Housing Authority (FHA). She added that the FHA would be repositioned and reengineered to deliver on its mandate.
According to her, government has developed a framework for conducting a National Housing Survey, to determine whether Nigerians are adequately housed or not, adding that this would be done in collaboration with the NPC and the NBS.