By Omeiza Ajayi, and Ezra Ukanwa
A non-political Transnational Intergovernmental Organization, the International Human Rights Commission, IHRC, has lamented Nigeria’s growing number of homeless people, saying the country’s housing deficit now stands at 28 million.
Consequently, as part of its contribution to implement affordable housing which is an important component of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, the IHRC has reaffirmed its commitment to partnering with the Federal Government on provision of affordable housing and mortgage reforms in Nigeria.
The IHRC, while bemoaning Nigeria’s housing deficit, said records from the Federal Mortgage Bank indicated that Nigeria is plagued with a deficit of about 28million housing units.
IHRC African Region’s Director, Dr Tivlumun Innocent Ahure, made this disclosure at a media interface and unveiling of the new director of International Human Rights Housing Projects, IHRHP, in Abuja.
According to him, the IHRC Africa Region Headquarters has now designed ways to contribute to Nigeria’s efforts at providing affordable housing and mortgage reforms.
“Indeed, Nigeria faces a severe housing deficit. Estimates by the Federal Mortgage Bank indicate a deficit of at least 28 million housing units. While the deficit cannot be addressed within the lifetime of an administration, a concerted effort at reducing it is however clearly required.
“This will entail creating linkages between provision of land to property developers, increased availability of housing finance, reduction in property transaction costs and job creation across sectors ancillary to the provision of additional housing stock.
“In January 2021, the IHRC communicated to the Federal Government of Nigeria its intentions to assist millions of people that live in slums and substandard houses to have adequate housing.
“The IHRC’s proposed pro-poor housing scheme in Nigeria is therefore going to be on a joint venture basis with the Government. It will be to us a dream come true. to facilitate an increase in housing stock via PPP partnerships as well as through housing finance reforms.
“With arrangements concluded for the takeoff of the Human Rights Community Housing Project to be facilitated by the several financial aid packages at our disposal, today is indeed one of the special high moment for the IHRC to unveil it’s official Director that will build the houses in a step by step manner with the processes provided by the Government.”
On his part, the newly appointed Director, IHRHP, Dr. Edward Olutoke, while commending the Director, IHRC, lamented the economic situation of the country.
“More than 75% of Nigerians are living below poverty line. Less than $2 a day then something is fundamentally wrong. So, the religion that brought us to this level is a very bad religion and the distortion system that brought us to this level is a terrible system.
“The political system that navigated us to this point is a terrible one and unless we do something as shocking as what the International Human Rights Commission is doing right now, we are not gonna get out of this quagmire”, he said.