Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has disclosed that some of the records issued to his ministry had suggested that the Federal Housing Authority, FHA, only delivered less than 40,000 homes in about 40 years, adding that apart from the fact that this number was not delivered on a consistent basis of 1000 homes per year, the long gaps between starts and stops clearly indicated the need to change how things had been done in the agency.
The minister argued that the nation’s deficit in housing could not be bridged or dented unless it industrialises housing delivery, noting that this could not be done if it does not make the production process uniform in terms of door sizes, window sizes, roof sizes, standards of design, sanitary and electrical fittings and so on.
The minister, who spoke at the African Capital Alliance’s 2016 Investor Day Dinner at the Eko Hotel and Suites at the weekend, noted that although the size of the deficit was still in dispute, but the country has had “a few initiatives by President Shagari and Governor Jakande in the second republic, and a few starts and stops, what is missing is ‘the keyword in this dinner speech topic – sustainability,’” Fashola said.
He noted that there was also “the quest for what is affordable, or social housing, or housing for the poor as they have been variously defined,” adding that in order to have a sustainable and affordable housing, there must be an agreed common purpose and a parameter for those who qualify for the housing scheme, including a housing design that has national acceptability, “taking into consideration Nigeria’s cultural differences.”
Speaking on cultural differences, he observed that, “it seems to me that we cannot sustain a thing unless our purpose about it is united,” adding that he had no intention of starting a housing policy without some indicative.
On the journey so far, Fashola hinted: “We are close; we are working on a Nigerian housing model that has an answer for Geo-political cultural differences while still looking the same. This is a joint effort of experts in the private sector who worked for the ministry as volunteers and also from the civil servants in the housing ministry who represent our cultural diversity.
“We are close to concluding on design, cost and other parameters before we move to financing. This is the rigor of planning implementation that gives life to statements that we sometimes erroneously call plans. This is the road to sustainability. This is the road I know.
“We walked this road on the Lekki Free Trade Zone. We walked it on the Eko Atlantic project. We walked it on the Lagos HOMS project that delivered 200 homes monthly during my tenure of service as governor. I know that we are in the results business,” he said, adding that although sustainable results take time to plan, he had no doubt the ministry was on the right path.

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