The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing has in the last one year designed a National Housing Model that will respond to the climatic and cultural diversities of Nigeria.
Delivering the keynote address at the recently concluded 11th Abuja Housing Show, which held from the 17th to 19th of July 2017, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, the Hon. Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola said, “We are building now in 33 states and we are using it as a pilot to better interface with the private sector.”
While speaking around the theme “Solving Nigeria’s Housing Challenge through Innovative Finance and Infrastructure Solutions” Fashola noted that problems exist in other to create opportunities for the public and private sector. He said, “The size of the problem should not dampen our enthusiasm to find a solution. It is indisputable that housing is a problem globally; let us focus less on how big it is and let’s focus more on what we can do.”
Going down memory lane, Fashola said, “Fifteen years ago, you needed to get international direct dialling to be able to call someone outside this country. Some people slept in NITEL offices. It was a big problem, but we didn’t focus on the number of people who didn’t have phones, we just focused on finding a solution.” He further stated that in as much as not everyone owns a phone today, “It is important to state that village by village, community by community, we are connecting.” He urged the participants and exhibitors to adopt that same attitude in the housing sector.
Speaking further, Fashola said, “Financing is not the only problem of housing, there are issues of affordability and issues of acceptability. We have empty houses in many states of the federation, why are they not occupied? Can people afford them? Even when they can afford them, do they like the way they are built? It is a problem that we must correct and build for the choice and demand of the off-takers.”
While talking about the housing economy, Fashola said, “It is important to agree that we need a housing economy and by housing economy, I mean an economy that delivers on a continuous basis at every spectrum of the value chain, starting first from the construction site. It is the place where we can impact most on people’s lives – labourers, artisans, retailers – because these are the most vulnerable members of our societies that we must continue to support, and if we create sustainable housing construction, it’s almost unbelievable the kind of response that we can get.”
The Abuja Housing Show is a yearly housing exhibition organised by FESADEB Communications and according to the convener, Mr. Festus Adebayo, the yearly event is an avenue to rub minds and exchange ideas, as well as proffer lasting solutions to the problems of affordable housing in the Nigeria.