After a careful look at the 72-page Manifesto of Peter Obi, the 115-page Manifesto of Atiku, the 80-page Manifesto of Tinubu, and the Manifesto of Kwankwaso, there is a common mention of Housing in the four leading Presidential candidate’s manifestos.
However, the challenge with the first of the three, on the one hand, is that he did not state ‘how’ he intends to reform the housing sector or/and give housing the robust priority policy articulation that it needs and demands. For specific instances, Obi’s Manifesto mentioned on pages 44 and 47 that it will reward and unlock private funds to look towards affordable social housing and correct housing deficits and imbalance, but nothing more as to how.
On the other hand, Tinubu on page 27 of his Housing Policy underscores public sector reforms in the area of housing but barely touched on the roles of the private sector and how the government intends to robustly drive that sector (beyond banking and tax breaks) in ensuring affordable housing that addresses the housing imbalance in Nigeria. Kwankwaso’s Manifesto spells out its agenda and strategies on Housing and Environment with commitments towards ensuring every adult Nigerian owns a house.
It is very emphatic on the link between housing and environment, as well the role of government and private sector in solving the housing imbalance but nothing innovatively novel or cutting edge in its approach towards the housing imbalance. Whereas Atiku on page 36 of his Manifesto proposes innovative ideas in his Manifesto mentioning reforms in housing infrastructure and housing financing through the PPP model. He even mentions housing for PWDs.
However, there is no mention of the link between housing and the environment or partnership with Development Partners in this frame, especially in an age where housing can only be driven by Private, Public, and Development sector Partnership (PPDP), not only Private Public Partnership (PPP).
Of the four, three of the leading Presidential candidates touch on reforms of the Land Use Act, asides from Peter Obi. Whilst Peter Obi took no stand, Atiku’s policy looks capitalist, Tinubu approaches housing from a socialist, whilst Kwankwaso has a welfarist approach.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs states that basic needs are food, clothing, and housing. The United Nations estimates that by 2050, 75% of Nigeria’s population will be living in cities, creating an annual housing requirement of at least 700,000 units to keep up with the growing population and urban migration. Therefore, for basic and intrinsic need for the survival of Nigeria in itself, housing must be on the agenda with clear policy reforms articulated by the candidates.
I opine whoever emerges considers all four Manifestos, as well as their Policy ideologies, into its housing policy direction as it also consults with stakeholders, to secure the future of Nigerians and unborn generations of Nigerians.
Olagunju is a Policy Consultant and Tech Lawyer with more than a decade experience in the policy research, digital policy, and regulatory sector. He tweets @timithelaw