The outgoing Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Friday, launched a ten-year blueprint for the National Housing Strategy (NHS).
During the launch at the ministry’s headquarters, he said the government only cannot provide the totality of housing needs for Nigerians hence the need to create an enabling environment for the private sector.
According to Fashola, the ten-year strategic blueprint has been designed to harmonize all extant housing initiatives by various stakeholders into a single National Housing Strategy.
Fashola said that despite the numerous housing programs initiated by the current administration for affordable housing, it still did not provide more homes than private enterprises.
He also stated that 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.
“There is nothing the government does in the housing sector that outcompetes and provides more than what the private sector can do,” Fashola said.
“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 ten-year strategic blueprint, the former governor of Lagos State said the document was necessary to create a pathway for the housing provision for the next decade.
Fashola while reiterating the need for data also assured that the scheduled population census will reveal the real size of housing problems in the country.
“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,” he said.
According to him, the document is to support and unleash the power of private capital and the private sector to provide houses.
He also disclosed that recently, the National Population Commission (NPC) chairman, Nasir Isa Kwarra, and his team came around to brief him 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,” Fashola added.
“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.”