Work with Reps to Fix Nigeria’s Housing Challenges, Kalu Urges Stakeholders


*decries report of 16.9 million nation’s housing deficit

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu has called for the collective effort of all the stakeholders in the housing sector to fix the inherent challenges, one of which was the massive deficit of units.

He said that the 10th House was willing to work with the stakeholders to meet the people’s housing needs.

Giving his goodwill message as a special guest at the 17th Africa International Conference on Housing in Abuja on Monday, Kalu who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Hon. Toby Okechukwu bemoaned the report of 16. 9 million housing deficit in Nigeria.

The Deputy Speaker said that the report placed Lagos, Ibadan, Kano, and Abuja as cities that have 20 percent rise in housing needs yearly.

He said: “I would like to start with a look at the current state of housing in Nigeria. As you know, it is self evident that we have a huge housing deficit presently in
Nigeria. According to a study by researchers at the African Development.

Bank in the ‘Housing Market Dynamics in Africa’, there is a housing deficit of up to 16.9 million units. According to the World Bank, Lagos, Ibadan, Kano, and Abuja, has a 20 percent rise in housing needs yearly. Current total output in the formal housing sector is estimated at no more than 100,000 units. While well corroborated data does not exist, it is clear that the formal sector is only producing a fraction of the total number of urban units needed each year.

“This is a major problem, as it has a negative impact on our economy and
on the quality of life of our citizens.
There are a number of factors that have contributed to the housing deficit in
Nigeria. These include rapid urbanization, population growth, and a lack of affordable housing finance.

“The housing deficit in Nigeria is a major challenge that needs to be
addressed. The 10th House of Representatives, led by the Speaker, Rt.
Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, is committed to working with stakeholders to find
solutions. The 10th House of Representatives is willing and able to partner with stakeholders to enable Nigerians benefit from an improved Housing Sector. We are willing when approached by stakeholder inputs to expend our legislative powers to fixing Nigeria’s housing sector challenges. It must also be stated that the development of Housing would be difficult without huge investments in key infrastructure like roads, urban planning, waste management, and energy. As is the theme of this event, we need to make housing happen in Nigeria.

“We urge you to approach the House with your ideas and actionable plans
for a better Housing Sector. We need your inputs to ensure that the housing
sector in Nigeria delivers on its promise to provide housing for all.

“Specifically, we encourage you to propose ideas on how to make it easier to access affordable housing finance; invest in infrastructure to make it easier to build and develop new
housing units; promote public-private partnerships (PPPs) to bring together the resources of the government and the private sector to address the
housing deficit.

“We believe that your ideas will be valuable in helping the executive led by
President Ahmed Bola Tinubu and the National Assembly to develop a
comprehensive plan to address the housing deficit in Nigeria.”

Expressing his displeasure with the mortgage system that had apparently made it difficult for the common man to own a house; and the divergent views of Nigerians on the land use act, Kalu said that the lawmakers still had a duty of enacting impactful legislations.

“The lack of affordable housing finance is a major problem. In order to access a mortgage in Nigeria, you would need to have a large down payment and a high credit score. This is very difficult for many Nigerians, as they often do not have the financial resources to meet these requirements. Consequently, a majority of Nigerians are excluded from access to housing finance.

“There are varying views regarding the impact of Land Use Act on the
development of the Housing and Mortgage market in Nigeria. Some hold
the view that the Act makes land and mortgage transactions time-consuming and expensive, and could be subject to inappropriate political influence and corruption.

“There is also belief that the Land Use Act is a necessary legislation required for the protection of all Nigerians and that it provides a framework for orderly development in Nigeria. In response to these challenges, the National Assembly called for a Memoranda on whether the Land Use Act should be removed from the Constitution on May 7, 2012. The eventual outcome was that the removal
of the Act was not accepted by Nigerians.

“Whatever your views are on the Land Use Act, we as legislators by the
constitution and by law are duty bound to legislate for the order and good governance of Nigeria. The Housing Sector is definitely part of it”, Kalu said

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