By Chris Ochayi
The Federal Government has completed construction of 2,249 housing units in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, in the last five years, says the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola.
Fashola, who stated this as a guest speaker at the 15th Abuja International Housing Show, AIHS, in Abuja, disclosed that the Ministry had undertaken the construction of 4,694 housing units within the period.
According to him, a total of 1,021 building contractors have been engaged under phases 1 an 11 of the programme since its inception in 2016 and 13, 680 and 41, 040 direct and indirect jobs have been generated.
He added that despite the socio economic consequences of Covid 19 pandemic, operatives of the built industry have continued to make progress.
Fashola noted that, ”Even as our country, as indeed the entire World is still grappling with the social – economic consequences of the Covid – 19 pandemic, I have nothing but progress to report about how the built industry operatives.
“Professionals and other stakeholders have contributed to increasing the stock of affordable and accessible home ownership in a pre and post-Covid era.”
Represented by the Minister of State for Works and Housing Engineer, Abubakar D. Aliyu, the minister hinged his view on the activities of stakeholders in the sector such as the National Housing programme, (NHP) of the Federal government which is aimed at constructing acceptable and affordable houses nationwide.
Speaking further, Fashola emphasized on other activities of the Ministry which include: housing development through Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives, Site and Services across the States, houses delivered by the Federal Housing Authority, FHA and the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria both of which are Parastatals of the Ministry.
In her goodwill message, the Honourable Minister of State for Works and Housing, Ghana, Freda Prempeh noted that the unprecedented negative economic impact of Covid -19 pandemic had resulted in global economic recession which had greatly affected the urban poor and informal sector thereby worsening the housing problem globally.
She advised that social housing schemes must, as a matter of necessity, be given top priority by governments while boosting local production of building materials to generate employment.
The Chairman of the occasion, Surveyor Suleiman Hassan Zarma (MNIS), former Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing emphasized the need to provide affordable housing for the populace as a way of preventing the spread of Covid -19 which can occur when people are not adequately housed.
The Minister of Environment, Dr Muhammed Mahmood Abubakar spoke on the correlation between housing and climate change.
He called on stakeholders in the built industry to ensure that international standards are met when putting up a building so that it can stand the test of time especially in the face of the danger that climate change portends.
He described the threat of climate change as a pandemic worse than the corona virus pandemic if not carefully handled.
In his welcome address, the convener of the event, Barrister Festus Adebayo disclosed that the conference which has the theme “Sustainable and Resilient Housing Solution for a post – pandemic World” would explore different innovations and requirements that can effectively position housing as a tool in combating the epidemic on the single premise that the World has finally come to the realization of the importance of housing and the environment.
He further said that the conference would also consider the involvement of the youths in designing the future of affordable housing as well as the matter of housing data for effective planning and delivery
Highlight of the occasion was the presentation of awards by the Honourable Minister of state for Works and Housing given to governors of Lagos, Yobe and Borno States as well as the Honourable Minister of State for Works and Housing, Ghana, Preda Prempeh.