Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has said that the objective of the new social housing programme is to mitigate the housing deficit and stimulate economic growth. This, he said, was one of the strategic activities designed for exiting the current economic recession, while speaking at the 11th Abuja Housing Show, which held on 17th to 19th of July 2017, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

Speaking around the theme, “Solving Nigeria’s Housing Challenge through Innovative Finance and Infrastructure Solution”, Odigie-Oyegun said, “To finance the programme, the federal government has proposed N1bn fund as part of its contributions, and is working to mobilise the private sector and other development partners to join in this initiative.”

He said that the APC in its manifesto stated that one-third of Nigerians lived in cities and urban areas with a national housing deficit of about 17 million. In his words, “We promised decent and affordable housing to all our people and the establishment of a national policy in cooperation with state governments with a target of raising enough finance to build one million units annually over the next decade.”

Odigie-Oyegun noted that existing housing funding avenues and agencies, such as Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), National Housing Fund (NHF) and Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), are being recapitalised, retooled and reformed to ensure more efficiency and broader access to financing housing in the nation.

It can be recalled that the federal government in 2016 had disclosed it was working with the stakeholders to raise one trillion Naira to provide affordable housing for Nigerians under the new Social Housing Programme, through combined efforts of the public and private sector.

The scheme, which is included in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the government, will deliver about 2.5 million housing units over the planned period using mainly local materials for construction.