By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA: The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, NIESV, said there was no scientific proof to show that Nigeria has a 17million housing deficit.
President of NIESV, ESV Emmanuel Okas Wike, who stated this during a working visit to the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, in Abuja, said the figure which had been bandied in the country for a long time had no scientific proof.
Recall the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, had recently asserted that there was no housing deficit in the country.
While corroborating with the minister on the long-held standpoint, ESV Wike, said the body was in full agreement with the Minister on the fact that the figure which had been bandied in the country for a long time lacked scientific evidence.
According to him, “We are in total agreement with you on the unreliability of the 17million housing deficit being brandished in Nigeria for lacking scientific proof. We are using this opportunity to reaffirm the importance of data bank and our commitment to the provision of a property data bank for all state capitals and major cities in Nigeria.’’
He disclosed that plans were ongoing to carry out enumeration of wasting and abandoned properties across the state capitals, most of which, according to him, belongs to government at various levels, adding that the Institute would then make recommendations on what could be done with them.
In his remarks, Fashola said, ‘there is more demand in housing due to people that move from rural areas to urban centres to squat in the city, and when demand exceeds supply there will be scarcity adding that the solution lay in having accurate data of empty houses in the cities.
The Minister, who expressed delight that the endorsement by NIESV on the non-existence of the 17 million housing deficit in Nigeria put an authoritative seal on the controversy, charged the Institute to come up with accurate data on the housing issue adding that such data would help towards solving the housing problem.
While commenting on the Land Use Act, the Minister said, “The law is not the problem, it is not enough to say repeal the law, the communities fighting over land resulted in enacting the Land Use Act. Every section of the Land Use Act has been interpreted by the Supreme Court. Administration of the law is the problem rather than the law itself.”