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FG To Build 40 Blocks Of Housing Estate in Every State, FCT — Fashola

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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BEVERLY HILLS, December 08, (THEWILL) – The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, has told Nigerians to expect a change in the policy direction of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration in the housing sector, assuring that this would come to the fore with the implementation of the 2016 budget.

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, Fashola noted that the Federal Government would spend N10b to build low income housing estate in each of the state of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

This negates what obtained under the Obasanjo regime, when he upturned the policy of Shagari's administration by declaring that government would no longer build houses for people to occupy. He subsequently sold off all government houses built during Shagari era.

At his return to power in 1999, Obasanjo's government through the Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development collaborated with developers by providing lands for them to build 'affordable' housing estates. This policy direction was replicated by both the Yar'Adua and Jonathan governments.

But unveiling the agenda of Buhari in the housing sector, Fashola said there is need for the government to review the existing policy in the housing sector to address housing deficit in the country.

According to him, “The Housing sector presents an enormous opportunity for positively impacting the economy to promote not only growth but inclusion.

“There have been a couple of National Housing policies and we intend to appraise the most current one to make changes only if necessary.

“Government will lead the aggressive intervention to increase supply, by undertaking construction of public housing and formulate policies that will invariably lead to private sector participation and ownership to reduce our housing deficit.”

Disclosing that the immediate past administration budgeted less in housing sector of the economy, the minister asserted that the trends that must be reversed.

He promised that the present government will understudy 'Jakande and Shagari's housing estates model to develop an affordable housing unit for the masses, by building 40 blocks in each state.

“So for us, consistency is key, annual spending is an imperative. We must change the budget for national housing from N1.8 Billion in 2015 to something in the hundreds of billions of Naira that matches our ambition.

“If we can spend N10 billion in each state and the FCT on housing alone every year subject to (a) the capacity to raise the money and (b) the capacity to utilize the funds having regards to our current construction methods and the time it takes to complete construction, which our ministry intends to change by research and industrialization of housing,” he said.

Fashola went on to state that the government would embark on seminars and conferences to ensure proper capacity building for stakeholders in the sector to drive the new agenda, stressing that “If we achieve this, we will move from where we are now, start construction in all 36 States and the FCT and sustain this as we go along.

“In the housing sector, if we complete our on-going projects, and we get land from the Governors in all states and the FCT to start what we know, using the Lagos Home model, we should start 40 Blocks of Housing in each state and FCT,” he revealed.