By Sarauniya Usman, Abuja
The Convener, Abuja International Housing Show (AIHS) Mr Featus Adebayo has declared that the provision of affordable housing is key to solving most societal problems in the country.
Adebayo made the assertion in Abuja at a news conference to announce the commencement of the 15th Edition of the show.
According to him this year’s theme is:
“Sustainable and Resilient Housing Solution for a Post-Pandemic World”.
He said if the housing issue in the country could be tackled, most societal problems, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic would be easily resolved.
“As you all know, the global pandemic impacted the Global Housing Market as well as in Nigeria. “We saw the resurgence and importance of housing not only as an investment but also as necessary and critical social infrastructure for fighting and effectively combating the spread of the COVID-19 in Nigeria and across the world.
“We hope to fully explore the different innovations and requirements that can effectively position housing as a tool in combating the epidemic on the single premise of the importance of housing and the environment.
“Therefore, Nigeria and Africa cannot be left behind in a bid to adequately prevent the kind of experiences witnessed in India, South Africa and other parts of the world as far as the COVID-19 pandemic is concerned.
“As we commence the 15th edition of the AIHS next week, the importance of housing cannot be overstated if we must accomplish social distancing and promote personal hygiene according to World Health Organisation Protocols.”
He said that this edition had put in place safety protocols to facilitate a hitch-free conference with zero tolerance for risky behaviour “and we believe participants will be duly guided”.
Adebayo said part of the issues to be discussed was the place of the youths in providing affordable housing, adding that it was important to get them involved in designing the future of affordable housing via competitive housing design initiatives.
The expert said also to be addressed in the show was housing data for effective planning and delivery
To this end, he said the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, National Population Commission, CBN, among others would be present to throw more light on the matter for the public.
He said other critical stakeholders would deliberate on Nigeria’s housing deficit and the way forward in terms of the segmentation of housing needs.
“For us in the housing and built sector, particularly the Housing Development and Advocacy Network (HDAN), we remain unrelenting in advocating for the development and rollout of affordable housing by government and the private sector.
“At this year’s AIHS, we are going to push from different fronts towards addressing the housing problems being faced in the country.
“For instance, how to utilise pension fund for affordable housing will be in focus in the course of the show.
“We will leave no stone unturned in the quest for affordable housing for Nigerians, and we will not leave the show without ensuring that stakeholders understand why they should implement all the resolutions.
“Providing houses is key to solving most of the social problems we face today, insecurity among others, name them, because you to build just one bedroom apartment, you have to engage the bricklayer.
“The carpenter, the welder, the plumber, the electrician, etc, and you can now imagine the economic implication of this in the entire value chain,” he explained.
The Abuja International Housing Show, to hold from July 26, to July 29, is adjudged to be the biggest housing show in West Africa.
It brings together all stakeholders in the built sector, both within and outside the country to brainstorm and provide workable and sustainable solutions to housing issues.