24 states ready to collaborate with FG on mass housing – Fashola

Mr Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, on Friday disclosed that 24 states had volunteered land to the Federal Government to begin its mass housing initiative.

Fashola made the disclosure in Lagos at the maiden edition of Real Estate and Housing Lecture organised by City People Magazine.

The lecture was entitled: “Moving the Real Estate Sector Forward, My Thought, My Experience.’’

“Twenty four states have given us the land that we require to start,’’ he said.

He said that policy framework for standards; capacity and knowledge of developers and purchasing power of home seekers were integral to solving housing deficit in Nigeria.

Fashola identified mortgage financing and government support through incentives as also integral to providing affordable housing to the teeming population of Nigerians.

He added that the 2016 budget provided some incentives.

He said that there was a provision of N35 billion for housing in the 2016 budget and that the government had both long and short term plans on how to execute the project.

He said that government was testing the workability of mass housing initiative and if found effective, hopefully, more funds would be allocated in the 2017 budget.

“Our objective is to use this year’s budget, that N35 billion to prove the efficacy of this concept in the short term, and this concept can work,’’ he said.

The minister explained that nations like the United Kingdom and Singapore achieved success in real estate development with the support of government and the mortgage institutions.

He advised developers to revisit the idea of private hostels; an initiative he said was adopted by religious organisations in the past.

While answering questions raised by some stakeholders, the minister assured that the government would not compromise on the quality of houses it would deliver.

“We cannot and we will not compromise quality,’’ he said.

Fashola stressed the need for more Nigerians to key into home ownership.

He added that, the same spread of funds people use to pay rents of two years or more could be channeled to home ownership through mortgage financing.

Also present at the ceremony are Sen. Gbenga Ashafa and Mr Francisco Abosede, a former Lagos Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development.

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