The federal government has pledged to significantly reduce the country’s approximately 17 million housing shortfalls by the conclusion of the current administration in May 2023.
Despite claiming that the estimated 17 million housing deficiencies in Nigeria were not scientifically established, the administration asserted that it was currently doing a lot to create mass affordable housing across the country.
Gbenga Ashafa, Managing Director of the Federal Housing Authority, revealed this during the recent soft inauguration of Expressview Estate Lugbe in Abuja, a cooperation project between Mixta Africa and the FHA.
The FHA chief stated that, despite the lack of verifiable statistics on Nigeria’s housing shortfall, the Federal Government has been giving dwellings to both low- and high-income earners.
He said that data on Nigeria’s housing shortfall did not often include empty properties, and that housing projects such as the one announced in Lugbe, which sits on 1.5 hectares of land and would contain 58 terrace apartments, among others, were not included.
Ashafa went on to say that the housing authority had just finished roughly 300 houses for low-income earners in Zuba, Abuja, and that thousands of buildings had been handed to Nigerians in a short period of time.
He said, “The Minister of Works and Housing has been saying right from the outset that we’ve not been able to come up with a specific figure that truly captures the housing deficits in Nigeria.
“However, look at the project we are embarking on now. Are we counting it? Look at the number of unoccupied houses in many locations across the country. Are we counting them?
“If you go round, you will see a lot of unoccupied houses because of the amount of money they have put on them. We know that we have a lot of work to do, but this administration is doing a lot to ensure that we reduce the number of housing deficits across the country.”
The FHA boss added, “It is part of the promises of President Muhammadu Buhari. So, we are not just providing houses on one level, we have three levels in the mass housing scheme that we must cater for and we are working hard to meet it during the life of this administration.”
Outlining the three levels, Ashafa said, “We have houses for the lower-, middle-income earners, while this project (Expressview Estate, Lugbe) is for the upper-income earners. They are Nigerians too.”
The Managing Director, FHA Mortgage Bank, Hayatudeen Awwal, said the partnership with Mixta Africa would ensure the effective delivery of the project in Lugbe.
“Any development in Lugbe that is along the road is for the Federal Housing Authority. We delivered Gwarinpa, Karu, Maitama, Asokoro and Kubwa estates, and now we are here,” he stated.
The Country Director, Mixta Africa, Sade Hughes, said the real estate firm had developed a lot of housing projects in Lagos and Port Harcourt, adding that it would use the Expressview Estate to further showcase its capabilities in the industry.