From Fred Itua, Abuja
Experts from across the globe, on Monday, called on Government at all levels to raise the bar and invest more on affordable housing to meet the growing demands of Nigerians.
The experts spoke at the 15th edition of the Abuja International Housing Show (AIHS), Abuja, with the theme, “Sustainable and Resilient Housing Solutions for a Post Pandemic World”.
Convener of the show, Festus Adebayo, said COVID-19 has exposed the need to provide more affordable housing for the citizens.
He hailed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Ministry of Finance and other stakeholders creating a N200 billion National Social Housing Programme, managed by the Family Homes Funds, to deliver 300,000 housing units for low-income earners
He said: “The challenges that we face as a country in the housing sector are enormous. Our housing deficit, though currently being contested, estimated to be over 17million housing units, is still the highest on the African continent. To address this, the youth need to be involved to steer the designing of a future affordable housing.”
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, said the Federal Government was intervening in making housing affordable with the inauguration of the National Housing Programme (NHP).
Represented by the Minister of State for Works and Housing, Abubakar Aliyu, Fashola: “The approach to the design and use of materials takes cognizance of the cultural and environment considerations of the regions by responding to the tenets of the building energy and efficiency code. The overall economic value chain arising from the housing construction activities are mostly beneficial to the Nigerian youths who are directly involved in the physical production of the houses.”
He added that a total of 1,021 building contractors have been engaged under Phases 1 and 2 of the programme with 13,680 and 41,040 direct and indirect jobs generated with the construction of 4,694 housing units, “out of which 2,249 units have been completed in 34 States and FCT with a total of 41 sites spread over the 34 States and FCT.