Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, has revealed plans to empower artisans in the national housing programme.
The minister stressed that the federal government will commence the project with the traditional methods of construction.
Fashola stated this while delivering a keynote address at the Affordable Housing Summit held in Abuja yesterday, hinting that reviews by the ministry and its partners have shown that emerging contemporary issues of climate change, energy conservation necessities demand that our building habits and methods must change, for energy efficiency and sustainability.
He said, “We will start with the traditional methods of construction known to our people so that bricklayers, painters, welders, carpenters and other artisans can find opportunities for inclusion and employment. We plan to embrace technology, by developing quicker methods of building and training our people to adapt and adopt them. We have finalised the Bill of Quantities for the designs. This, to me, is where the test of affordability is most acute.”
The minister said, an assessment conducted by staff of the Ministry, revealed that different design of houses originated by different contractors do not necessarily accord with the market needs, and are therefore not attractive or affordable by the off-taking public.
He noted that an appraisal of previous successful housing initiatives shows also that they were limited in national acceptability because the single design concept did not take Nigeria’s cultural diversity into consideration.
Working with GIZ in an initiative they launched on June 16, Fashola said guidelines have been developed for energy efficiency in the Nigerian buildings.
Fashola drew the attention of stakeholders to basic questions such as defining housing, affordability, cadre of off-takers who are the end users and their housing choice. He said if these questions could be answered truthfully, then housing challenge would be tackled considerably.
“The questions have compelled us in the Ministry to review some of our methods for implementing the National Housing Policy, such as initiatives by the Federal Housing Authority and our PPP initiatives, through Development Lease Agreements, DLAs.
“While we may retain the initiatives with modifications, we must develop something new and different that is useful for reducing our housing deficit.
“This will help to diversify our economy, grow our SME and local capacity, evolve into something that is sustainable in the sense that the majority of Nigerians can benefit from, by getting them on the housing ladder,” he said, adding that DLAs and PPPs over a decade, under the Construction Finance Initiative, targets delivery of 21,008 housing units with a current delivery of 2,750 completed units so far.
As part of resolves over building designs, the ministry has proposed 6 which include designs of One bedroom, Two-bedroom, Three-bedroom flats, Bungalows and Condominiums that will represent the Nigerian House which responds to cultural diversity.

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