By YINKA KOLAWOLE
Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama Pepple, has declared that one of the problems facing the country’s housing sector is the lack of accurate data on the houses being delivered into its housing stock.
Pepple who made the remark at the ground breaking event of UACN Property Development Company (UPDC) Metro City in Abuja, noted that part of the transformation agenda of the government is build one million houses every year to improve the housing stock in the country.
“I know that we have a deficit of about 16 or 17 million, like I always say, I do not think it is that high, because every day, everywhere, not only in Abuja, you will see estates coming up in different parts of the country.
The problem is, we do not have an accurate data of the houses that are being put into the housing stock all over the country. I do hope that, before long, we will be able to get an accurate data on the housing stock and how much we have reduced the deficit in the housing sector.
“We will do everything possible to ensure that we provide good, quality housing accommodation for the masses of this country. We have been shouting social housing; building for the low-income earners. We will discuss with state governors and we want you to replicate this project in other states of the federation.
I don’t know if I will be able to get a few houses from UPDC Ltd for people in the informal sector because they are the ones I call my people. As we progress forward, we will be able to discuss how we can help build more housing for Nigerians.
When you have one bedroom or two bedrooms that the price is lower, I am sure a lot of people would have access to it, by paying through cooperatives or housing loans,” she stated.
In her remarks, Chairman of UPDC, Mrs. Halimat Alao, who is also a former housing minister, said the project on completion will open access to good homes for many people. “We are hoping that what the UPDC is doing here, will help bring down the deficit of housing and also help with the provision of houses to Nigerians,” she added.
On his part, Managing Director of UPDC, Mr. Hakeem Ogunniran, called on government to help facilitate the provision of affordable housing by providing land and primary infrastructure to reduce overall cost of housing delivery.
He noted that the UPDC estate covers two contiguous lands with a total area of 11.7 hectares located in the residential area of Apo Dutse of the Fedral Capital Territory (FCT).
According to him, the estate will consist of 242 housing units comprising of five bedroom detached houses, four bedroom semi-detached houses, four bedroom terraces, three bedroom bungalows, two and three bedroom flats.
He said that the target completion date for the whole estate set at December 2014, adding that the company is willing and ready to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Lands and Housing.
“By building this estate, we would be contributing our quota to the development of housing in Nigeria; reducing the huge housing deficit; and we are working with government to create the right platform for good houses to be built in this country, he said.