By Yinka Kolawole
The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) is set to restructure its Public-Private Partnership (PPP) unit with a view to accelerating its housing delivery mandate, with Nigeria said to be having a housing shortfall of 16 million currently.
Managing Director, FHA, Mr. Terver Gemade, stated this recently on an official visit to the South-West Zonal Office of the organisation.
Gemade declared that it is imperative to strengthen the unit to enable it cope with anticipated high demands, having recognised it as a major platform through which mass housing delivery can be accomplished.
He asserted that the FHA will utilise all available models on housing delivery in the quest to deliver more houses across the country, adding however that greater attention would be devoted to PPP by the Authority than direct construction.
The FHA boss noted that there are high expectations on the organisation to deliver on its mandate while urging the workers to brace up to the challenges ahead.
According to him, the challenges before FHA is massive considering the fact that government expects delivery of a minimum of 10 million new houses under the Vision 20-20-20 programme, which he further noted calls for better dedication from the staff being the major assets of the authority.
The FHA boss disclosed that steps are being taken to review the law establishing the Authority in order to remove existing constraints and provide it more leverage to deliver on its mandate.
He said that consultations were on between the Housing Ministry and the National Assembly on the review, noting that many of the provisions of the current law were obsolete and require amendment to enable the Authority cope with the challenges of today=s housing industry.
The FHA was established by Decree No. 40 of 1973 (now CAP 136 of the Laws of the Federation 1990), and commenced operations in 1976.
Under the FHA Act CAP 136 Laws of the Federation 1990, the body is broadly responsible for proposing and implementing the Federal Government=s housing programmes. It does this by preparing and submitting from time to time proposals for National Housing Programmes to the Federal Government; and making recommendations to governments on such aspects of Urban and Regional Planning, Electricity, Sewage and Water Development as may be relevant to successful execution of housing programmes approved by government.
But by the 1991 National Housing Policy, FHA=s mandate was amended/elaborated upon to comprise the development of real estates on commercial and profitable basis in all states of the federation; provision of sites and service scheme for all income groups with special emphasis on low income groups in major cities of the country; and, provision of low income houses in all states and Federal Capital Territory from funds allocated by Federal Government.
In a related development, the Minister of State for Works, HousingÂ andÂ Urban Development, Mrs Grace Ekpiwhere, has put Nigeria=s estimated housingÂ shortfall at 16 million.
Ekpiwhere who said this in an interview with Southern Africa Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Pretoria, noted that government alone cannot meet the housing needs of Nigerians because of budgetary constraints.
AThere is a huge deficit of housing to accommodate our people in view of the budgetary constraints and other competing needs. Bearing this in mind it has became obvious that government efforts at providing houses for its officers may not be sustainable,@ she said.
The minister said it was in realisation of this that government decided to partner with the private sector to provide houses for the citizens.