On Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari gave an enormous task to the 22 states governed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to build 250,000 housing units per annum. According to him, this would facilitate the fulfillment of one of the several election campaign promises which is to provide one million houses for Nigerians yearly. He said this at the opening session of the two-day National Economic Council (NEC) Retreat on the economy at the old Banquet Hall, Abuja, charging foreign investors and local construction companies to take part in the new effort to cover Nigeria’s housing deficit.
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“Some estimates put Nigeria’s housing deficit at about sixteen million 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 two hundred and fifty thousand units. The 22 APC States together manage another two hundred and fifty thousand units. We invite foreign investors together with local domiciled big construction companies to enter into commercial housing building to pick up the rest.”
The president also said that some of the challenges in the housing sector include insufficient houses and high rents which prospective owners especially middle and low-income earners cannot afford. He added that red tape, corruption and plain public service inefficiency leads to long delays in obtaining ownership of title documents. He also emphasized that there are no long-term funding sources for mortgage purposes and these hurdles are by no means easy to scale through.
Although the President failed acknowledged that Estate developers are also a reason why housing in Nigeria is very expensive due to the high percentage commission they impose on tenants, even when the tenant found the house himself. However, the President said he would provide solutions to all the house-related issues in the country through the 22 APC states. With this new development, hopefully, everyone can own a decent apartment in Nigeria in a couple of years.