BusinessDay

AIHS to set housing agenda for political office seekers ahead 2023 elections

Worried about the housing challenge in Nigeria and the lip service which government pays to, organizers of the Africa International Housing Show (AIHS) say they will be setting agenda for the housing sector ahead of 2023 elections in Nigeria when stakeholders gather in Abuja for the annual show.

The decision, according to them, reflects current developments in the country where everybody is looking forward to getting the right kind of persons among the political class, especially those seeking political offices,  that will align with the people’s basic needs and aspirations.

For that purpose, the housing show, now in its 16th edition, will be hosting a political forum that will be focusing on housing sustainability and affordability The show has been slated for July 25—28, 2022.

“An array of experts from within and outside Nigeria that we have assembled for the event will be engaging political office seekers and policymakers to chart a new path to tackling the nation’s housing gap,” Festus Adebayo, AIHS Convener, told BusinessDay at the weekend.

“At AIHS, we believe that agenda setting is a cardinal component of public opinion and accurate evaluation of such is important for public policy consideration. This is why Nigerians must set the agenda for the politicians seeking elective positions in 2023,” he added.

Adebayo said that time had come for Nigerians to raise the bar for whoever would be at the helm of affairs, advising that focus should be on the competence and credibility of the candidates in terms of ability to deliver affordable and sustainable housing, irrespective of political affiliation.

He said that they were committed to reawakening the consciousness in Nigerians to the importance of electing competent and credible, ‘housing-minded’ leaders who would ensure justice and fairness for all, as well as peace and unity in the nation.

Read also: 2023: Nigeria needs seasoned technocrat, economist, patriot – Emefiele support group

He revealed that Marja Hoek-Smit, a world renowned housing expert, AIHS board member, and Director of Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA, would be anchoring a session on ‘2023: Setting Agenda for Housing.’

“Hoek-Smit’s comes with versed knowledge and experience in housing. Her session will, no doubt, help to improve a lot for Nigeria’s housing sector. It will precisely give us a working document serving as a transformative and game-changing action-plan that can be taken both at the states and federal levels to solve the nation’s housing problems,” Adebayo hoped.

He noted that Hoek-Smit had been conducting the Wharton housing programme for more than 15 years, pointing out that the programme was one that a lot of people have attended from different parts of the world.

“She knows what’s happening in the Nigerian housing sector. She’s a respectable personality in the industry;  she can conveniently tell us who and where we are as it pertains to housing. Her recommendations are top-notch and no nation remains the same if it effectively implements her housing recommendations,” Adebayo assured.

He explained that the choice of Hoek-Smith was AIHS gift to support Nigeria so that the country could actually make a difference as far as housing was concerned in the global sphere, noting that her recipe  had worked for many nations of the world and, so, Nigeria should not be an exemption.

Adebayo assured that AIHS 2022 would Nigerians opportunity to assess who would them, and also offer insights into how hold the leaders accountable when necessary based on their promises as contained in their manifestos.

“The housing show promises insights into the way to go in 2023. Housing affects everybody. When we fix housing, it’s just like solving all the problems of the country and will reducing cases of banditry and other social ills. Most of the problems we are having as a country are grounded in the lack of basic social needs of which housing is one,” he noted.

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