The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has admitted that the government only cannot provide the totality of housing needs for Nigerians hence the need to create an enabling environment for the private sector.
The outgoing minister made the admission during the launch of the National Housing Strategy Blueprint at the ministry’s headquarters on Friday.
The PUNCH reports that the document is a 10-year strategic blueprint designed to harmonise all extant housing initiatives by various stakeholders into a single National Housing Strategy.
He stated that despite the numerous housing programmes initiated by the current administration for affordable housing, it still didn’t provide more homes than private enterprises.
According to him, the private sector remains the real driver of housing solutions in the country, adding that the document will unleash the power of private capital in the sector.
He said, “There is nothing the government does in the housing sector that outcompetes and provides more than what the private sector can do. Whether it is a state government building or the Federal Government, the real drivers at the end of the day are the capacity of private capital for providing more houses.
“When you look at the scope of land holding, apart from the state government that owns the bulk of land, the Federal Government doesn’t have as much land as the collective land holding in the hands of the private sector.”
Speaking on the document, the former Lagos governor said the document was necessary to create a pathway for the housing provision for the next decade.
Fashola, who reiterated the need for data, assured that the scheduled population census will reveal the real size of housing problems in the country.
He said, “I am launching this document with mixed feelings and I say that because as an initiative of the private sector, the document is a very welcome and alternative solution to the housing problem.
“So, this document is to support and unleash the power of private capital and the private sector to provide houses.
“Recently, The chairman of the National Population Commission and his team were here to brief me and they shared some of the work done which is commendable.
“One of the data that will be collected will be who lives in a rented house, who owns his house, those who have other houses, and what type of house people live in.
“So let’s hold our breath; and when the figure comes. It will be very reliable upon which we can see the real size of the problem.”
Earlier in his presentation, the Senior Vice President of the Financial Market Dealers Quotation Group, Emmanuel Etaderhi, stated that the policy is based on five key pillars of affordability, standard, accessibility, fit for population, and sustainability for the provision of Quality Housing for all Nigerians.
He said the housing value chain has the potential to support sustainable economic growth and development via a robust multiplier effect stressing that reforming land administration and titling procedures could potentially unlock dead capital estimated at US$300.00 billion.