The Federal Government has set aside about N40 billion for affordable housing for Nigerians, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.
The President, who spoke at the 35th Annual General Meeting and international symposium of Shelter Afrique, on Wednesday, June 1, in Abuja, stated that the fund would be used to implement a comprehensive housing development plan for the country.
Represented by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Muhammed Bello, Buhari said Nigeria requires a minimum of additional one million housing units yearly to reduce its 17 million housing deficit in order to avert a housing crisis by 2020.
“We are therefore very much convinced of the catalytic development potentials of the housing sector and have accordingly, earmarked about N40 billion in the 2016 Capital Budget to implement a comprehensive programme for housing development in Nigeria,” The President said.
“The problem of housing the urban poor is not entirely new and I believe that different efforts must have been deployed in the past to confront it. But even today, the problem is still with us. Such reality challenges us to re-assess our methodologies and evolve fresh strategies to meet the exigencies of these times,”he said.
Buhari said the new national housing development programme initiated by the government would address housing shortage through direct housing supply, adding that the initiative would also harness all forward and backward linkages offered by each housing project for rejuvenation of sustainable development.
He said the initiative would guarantee access by middle and low income earners to the housing units through targeted mortgage and off-take arrangements.
Buhari listed some of the key thrusts of the new National Housing Development Programme to include: direct housing supply as strategic intervention measure to ameliorate growing deficits and most urgent cases of housing shortages in housing stock in urban areas across all geo-political zones in Nigeria.