Winifred Oyo-Ita, Freda Prempeh Provide Solution to Fix Housing Deficit

Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, and Ghanaian Deputy Minister of Works and Housing, Hon. Freda Prempeh have called for increased Public Private Partnerships (PPP) to fix housing deficit in the country.

The dignitaries including the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, made the call during 12th edition of the Abuja International Housing Show, held at the weekend in Abuja.

It was themed: Driving Growth and Sustainability in Nigeria’s Housing and Mortgage Markets-Improving Structures and Policies for impact.

The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Welfare Office, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack, disclosed that about 55, 000 civil servants have subscribed for the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) programme.

Oyo-Ita restated Federal Government commitment to addressing the housing deficit stressing that there are other ongoing programmes to ensure affordable housing delivery.

“This is an indication of the desire of key stakeholders in this sector not only to fill the gaps in the housing sector in terms of quantum but also to ensure qualitative delivery. The FISH programme is being delivered in partnership with private sector organizations, either as estate developers or financiers.”

Theme of the expo, she stated was timely as it highlighted challenges of affordable housing in the country and West Africa sub region.

Earlier, the Ghanaian deputy minister identified high cost of building inputs, access to land title, poor land system and infrastructure cost as challenges bedeviling the sector.

Aside, Hon. Prempeh attributed corruption and selfish interest as another setback of the built industry.

However, she called for the adoption of modern technologies and need to partner with the private sector.

According to her, houses should be built in districts to reduce cost and achieve affordability, adding that more than 60, 000 acres of land have been earmarked for low income earners in Ghana.

“Partnering with the private sector the more will help provide affordable housing for Nigerians,” she said.

The Minister, while declaring open the conference restated federal government’s commitment to providing sustainable affordable housing to the people.

The Minister said there are ongoing policies aimed at providing access to mortgage finance at single digit interest rate.

The Minister, represented by his colleague from State, Hassan Zarma noted that the current administration has initiated a new policy towards better housing delivery nationwide.

“As our demography is increasing, there is need to multiply the structure to reduce cost of housing with efficient consideration methods.

“It is our goal as a government to industrialize the building and housing delivery process in Nigeria and ensure that the building components are manufactured in the country.”

Mr. Fashola was eventually awarded by organizers of the event.

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