By CHARLES KUMOLU
WHEN President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Stakeholders Retreat on Housing and Urban Development, promised that the Federal Government will revolutionalise the housing sector by translating the National Housing Policy and National Urban Development Policy into a road map for housing development, it was expected that many would be enthusiastic.
But the contrary was the case given that for decades the quest by successive administrations to provide affordable housing has been hindered by institutional instability.
Against the backdrop of the housing deficit put at a staggering 17 million units, the Federal government through its various agencies in the sector, has embarked upon programmes geared towards providing one million houses units annually.
Managing Director of Homes and Mortgage, Mr. Gwaza Dankwero told Vanguard Homes & Property that a different approach to solving the housing problem has been adopted by the government. Dankwero who is an architect declared: “There is a different approach at the moment. Although it has not been significantly felt due to the country’s poor housing development mechanism before the Jonathan transformation agenda came on board, however there is light at the end of the tunnel. Statistics show that Nigeria requires about 17 million houses to augment the housing needs of the populace.’’
The Abuja based developer who apparently spoke on behalf of the government disclosed that ‘’so far, almost 16,447 housing units have been added to the national housing stock through various interventions by the Federal Mortgage Bank, Federal Housing Authority and Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.
In a similar vein, 238 housing units under the prototype housing scheme and 2,009 housing units under the public private partnership/contractor finance programme have also been executed’’
Continuing, he said: ‘’the success story has continued to increase sporadically. At present, the ministry is establishing 150 fully serviced residential plots per site in 12 states of the six geo-political zones of the country and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. It is also collaborating with the Aso Savings and Loans Limited and the Federal Mortgage Bank to develop 144 mixed housing units of one -three bedroom apartments at Lugbe, Abuja.’’
One problem that has continued to be a cog in the wheel of progress in the housing sector is paucity of funds and lack of access to land. It was against this backdrop that the President pledged to redress the trend through equitable access to land.
Also speaking at a recent forum, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Amal Pepple, disclosed that 7,510 housing units through estate development loans were provided by the Federal Mortgage Bank.
“The ministry is working in partnership with the Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reform and other stakeholders to address the plethora of issues in land administration and management. The aim is to ensure that land owners have secured titles and bankable assets,”she said.
The ministry is currently collaborating with relevant stakeholders to address the contentious issues in land administration and management.
‘’At present, 2,667 Certificates of Occupancy, Cs of O have been granted and 1,651 consents for the transfer of land titles while 3,787 serviced plots had been created. 238 housing units were also delivered under the prototype Housing Scheme.2,009 housing units were also delivered under the Public-Private Partnership/Contractor Finance. A number of 1,756 housing units were delivered through the FHA.Others are 4,934 housing units delivered through mortgages created by the FMBN, and 7,510 housing units delivered through estate development loans provided by the FMBN,’’ Pepple added.
Explaining further, she said, ‘’the location of some of the places where these projects are located include Ijora and Ikoyi in Lagos State; Kuje, Gwarimpa and Apo in the FCT; Asaba, Odukpani in Cross River; Gorin Gora in Kaduna State, Gombe and Owerri. The ministry has also established 150 fully serviced residential plots per site, spread across 12 states in the country’s six geo-political zones and the FCT. Some of the pilot site areas are Kuje in the FCT; Igbogbo and Osborne 11 in Lagos; Gubio Road, Yola in Adamawa; Bichi in Kano State, Bida in Niger, Republic Layout in Enugu State, and Rumuodomanya in Port Harcourt.’’