By Chris Ochayi

ABUJA—The Federal Government, yesterday, revealed that a total of N1 trillion would be committed to construction of housing accommodation in order to bridge the 17 million housing deficit confronting the country.

The National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, who disclosed this at the Abuja Housing Show held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, said the scheme would be public and private sector driven

Oyegun, noted that the programme was a new social housing programme that had been included in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan,  ERGP, recently launched by the government.

He explained further that the programme would deliver about 2.5m housing units over the planned period, using mainly local materials for its construction.

The ruling APC boss added that the objective of the new social housing programme was to mitigate the housing deficit and stimulate economic growth as one of the strategic activities designed to the exit current economic recession.

Oyegun said: “To finance the programme, the federal government has proposed N1bn fund as part of its contributions and working to mobilise the private sector and other development partners to join in this initiative.

“In addition, 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 for housing in the nation.”

“We are committed to deliver on these promises and provide affordable housing to our people and the effect of the policies and initiated of the government will soon begin to bear fruit.”

Chief Oyegun recalled that the APC in its manifesto stated that one third of all Nigerians live in cities and urban areas with a national hosting deficit of about 17 million.

“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.

“We promised to develop new urban planning skills, in existence cities and new model towns to meet the housing needs of our people and to also create an obligation of private sector to build or contribute financially to the building of social housing projects as part of the planning approval for these groups.

“This is in recognition of the fact the existing policy to promote housing development seems to favour the middle class and urban income segments of our population.  Therefore, a deliberate push to provide for the lower income category where housing deficit is most acute becomes clearly necessary.

“We recognise that there are several factors that adversely affect the supply of affordable housing like high cost, access to finance, high interest rate, level of available skilled labour and land.

“Each of these impediments is being tackled through targeted policy initiative of the existing Buhari administration.”

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