FG To Construct 54,000 Houses In Senatorial Districts


The Federal Government of Nigeria has concluded plans to construct 54,000 houses in the 108 Senatorial Districts in the country.

Minister of Housing, Lands and Urban Development, Chief Ndueze Essien, disclosed this when he visited Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State at the State House, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria recently.

The minister said he planned to construct 500 houses in every senatorial district during his tenure and expressed delight that with the support already shown by the Lagos State Governor, the project might take off in Lagos.

Essien said Lagos was of strategic importance to Nigeria and has recorded tremendous improvement in urban renewal efforts compared to the situation some years back.

However, Fashola charged the minister to find and develop an enduring model for housing development in the country. He said that the enduring legacy which the present minister could bequeath would not be in the number of houses that he built during his time but in the number that was built during his tenure of office.

The governor said: “Every minister had tried to build houses for Nigerians in the past but the question I have always asked is that were those who did it successfully more brilliant than those who did not do it?”

He explained that the answer lies in the fact that there had been no sustainable model on which the next set of ministers or public officers could work on when they assume office.

“It makes us recognise that no matter how many houses the ministry builds, the building capacity will reside in the private sector. That is the real economy that can build houses and help us gradually address the deficit of housing which the country faces,” he said.

He added that the only area the ministry could help is to formulate policies that encouraged private sector, adding that one of such policies would be to redevelop the nation’s mortgage scheme.

“We are thinking of a mortgage scheme that makes it easier for people to come in and go out; a mortgage scheme that the interest rate is not excruciating and punishing; a mortgage scheme that has a decent tenor of at least 15 years,” he added.

Fashola said that a federal agency like the Ministry of Housing stands in good stead to put this kind of arrangement in place, tasking the minister to facilitate a review of what had been done by the Federal Mortgage Bank and other mortgage policies by examining the quantum of funds lying in the Pension Fund today and determining what securable percentage of it could be applied to housing.

Fashola told the minister that in Lagos the present administration is building houses but its challenge lies in creating a model that would work for Nigerians.

According to him, irrespective of whoever is in position of authority today or tomorrow, every model must be one which allows a fresh Nigerian graduate who has a steady job to own a home.

“Once that is done, the private sector will respond and build homes because they know they can sell them. What is needed is a very reliable collection system that also enforces breaches of covenant,” he stated.

He also advised that the operators of the real sector be allowed to provide houses, while the federal and states stand back and use policies and authority to make the partnership work.

Load more