If urgent steps are not taken, the electoral promise of the All Progressives Congress to build one million housing units in a year will not be achieved, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.
The President said that in order to make the promise come true, the Federal Government must be able to build 250,000 housing units while the 22 states being governed by the party also build another 250,000 housing units.
He added that foreign investors together with big construction companies will then be encouraged to provide the balance.
Buhari made the revelation on Monday at the opening of the National Economic Council’s economic retreat held inside the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said, “Some estimates put Nigeria’s housing deficit at about 16million units.
“In our successful campaign to win the general elections last year, our party, the APC, promised to build a million housing units a year.
“This will turn out to be a very tall order unless: the Federal Government builds 250,000 units. The 22 APC states together manage another 250,000 units.
“We invite foreign investors together with local domiciled big construction companies to enter into commercial housing building to pick up the rest.”
Buhari listed the three most frequent public concerns brought to his attention in the housing sector to include severe shortage of housing; high rents and unaffordable prices for prospective buyers especially middle and low-income earners.
He added that he is aware that red tape, corruption and plain public service inefficiency lead to long delays in obtaining ownership of title documents while there are no long term funding sources for mortgage purposes.
According to him, while these hurdles are not easy to scale, his administration must find solutions to the housing deficit.
He suggested that the retreat could start by looking at the laws.
He said relevant laws should be reviewed to make the process of acquiring statutory right of occupancy shorter, less cumbersome and less costly.
He also said court procedures for mortgages cases should make enforcement more efficient while Ministry of Works and Housing should upgrade its computeristion of title registration system for greater efficiency.
Buhari was also of the opinion that achieving affordable housing for all Nigerians will require the development of strong and enduring mortgage institutions with transparent processes and procedures.
He also said when fully operational, the Mortgage Re-financing Company should ensure adequate support for mortgage financing.