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Lawan assures NASS will amend Land Use Act to drive affordable housing

The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, has pledged amendments to the existing land use act and other legislative interventions needed to achieving affordable and decent housing in Nigeria.

This was as he suggested multiple funding sources for housing the sector which holds huge potential for country’s economy.

“ I am aware that there are critical areas that require legislative intervention like the lands use act, the NHF, housing regulation, and many more enabling policies. It is in my agenda to see to it that all policies required to get us closer to our collective dreams are achieved”, Lawan noted, spoke at the opening ceremony of the 13th Abuja International Housing Show Tuesday.

Speaking through Senator Ashiru Oyetola, Lawan underscored the urgency in making decent housing available to Nigerians.

According to him, this year’s theme titled, ‘driving sustainable housing finance models in the midst of global uncertainties,’ suggests, concerted efforts are now required to think of multiple ways of funding housing development in a way that it wouldn’t only lead to the provision of homes, but to the growth of the economy, GDP and job opportunities.

“There is no better time for us to move faster in our ambition to provide decent shelter for everyone. It is indeed a core mandate for us to deal with one of man’s greatest need with the urgency and competence that it requires,” he noted.

Also speaking, chairman of the Housing show, Adebayo, appealed to government to explore the revenue generating aspect of the housing sector, beyond the provision of shelter for the masses.

“Our special Appeal to the government on the 13th Abuja housing show is to look into housing as a way not just to shelter the people but also to contribute to GDP. when I say this I mean, housing as a tool for creating employment . The government should create an enabling environment. The government should not be building.

“The Idea of the ministry of power, works and housing building houses is abnormal at this age, they are supposed to be formulating policies that will make the environment conducive for real estate investment.

We are saying those who are not privileged to own houses should be supported. Government should have serious intervention in housing .

“The government should not forget that the idea of spending so much money on health where the people are living in slump is not the right way. Health and housing are correlated .if people are provided with a decent home the level of health hazard, will go down. Put the money on decent housing and I tell you, the number of people going to hospital will reduce”, Adebayo said.

On his part, chairman of the occasion, Ibrahim Bunu, made a case for the local production of building materials, saying that was the fastest way to achieving the desired housing needs in the country

His words: “We have not produced our own building materials ourselves which would have helped in bringing down the cost. So unless the industrialization grows faster, than it is now, whereby, building materials are produced by Nigerians, then it will be very difficult to achieve full housing needs for Nigerians in a short time.

“These people who have all these empty estates borrowed money and some of them were encouraged by the good returns people realised in 2015 and 2016but these good days are gone and these people who built their houses are expecting those returns and they can’t get them. I believe after sometime, they will be forced to bring down the rate”.

Earlier, Executive Secretary of Federal Government Housing Loans Board, Hanatu Fika, assured of continuous recapitalisation of relevant mortgage facilities, to enable citizens access to mortgage loans.

 

Stella Enenche, Abuja

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