Housing could become driver of national development – Minister

The Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mrs. Akon Eyakenyi, has said that with the right strategies and policies, housing can become a prime driver of sustainable national development.

Eyakenyi, in a speech delivered at the inauguration of Suleja Ministerial Housing Estate, which was made available to our correspondent, stated that the basic building blocks to ensure that the sector became a driver of sustainable national development from now till the year 2043 and beyond were being finalised.

These, she said, consisted national policies, strategies and plans that had either been put in place or were being finalised for implementation at the three levels of government.

“The transformation in the housing and urban development sector is, therefore, real and it will be more evident by impacting on the citizenry over the coming years as we consolidate on the gains and refuse to turn back the hand of the clock, as well as the wheel of progress in the housing and urban development sector,” she said.

According to the minister, the project, when completed, will deliver 2,600 housing units across the country in the six geo-political zones.

The project is being executed through a partnership arrangement between the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and some private real estate developers.

Eyakenyi said that while the ministry provided unencumbered land for the project, the FMBN handled the financing arrangements and the developers were responsible for the actual construction based on the agreed specifications and timelines of project completion.

The project, according to the minister, consists 102 units of residential houses made up of 32 one-bedroom, 40 two-bedroom and 30 three-bedroom houses.

She noted that housing projects inaugurated in the past few years were aimed at improving the access of the citizenry to affordable homes.

Eyakenyi said, “These initiatives include the inauguration of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company and offer of 23,000 mortgages under the scheme; commencement of the 100,000 housing project for workers in Nigeria recently, and development of a framework for undertaking a national housing survey to determine whether Nigerians are adequately housed in order to implement remedial measures to reduce the national housing deficit.

“Other measures include the construction of 10,000 housing units under the Presidential initiative on affordable housing being championed by the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development for which the ministry has signed some Memoranda of Understanding with reputable developers.”

She added that the development of a Revised National Building Code to improve standards and enhance professionalism in the sector and the development of a roadmap for the housing and urban development sector were also aimed at improving access to housing.

The minister said that through interventions such as taking short, medium and long-term perspectives of the gamut of issues, the sector would be effectively repositioned over the next 30 years.

Punch

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