Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ahmed Dangiwa, has scored the Federal Housing Authority and Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria low in their performance.
He stated this recently in Abuja during the recent inauguration of four Reform Task Teams, to develop a roadmap for the construction of over 50,000 houses annually across the country.
He expressed disappointment at the country’s housing development finance agencies’ underperformance.
He said: “It is disheartening to know that the housing finance development agencies have been performing suboptimally. If you look at FHA for example, it is an agency that is expected to provide houses for all segments of society, including low-income, middle-income, and high-income. They have received tremendous support from the government to carry out their mandate.
“On each occasion that the Federal Capital Territory Administration opens new districts in Abuja, a large portion of land is always reserved for the authority. When they request land from the state government, they are always obliged. And for this, there is no reason why they should not be able to build houses in large numbers. They also have options to approach the capital market for housing development.
“The FMBN is expected to lead mortgage financing in the country. They should meet the needs of Nigerians for easy access to mortgages. They should also explore capital markets, but their performance leaves much to be desired. Our reforms will, therefore, be very comprehensive.’’
On the newly inaugurated committees, the minister noted that the teams comprising highly qualified and experienced professionals would provide lasting solutions to unlock the massive potential of the sector for catalysing inclusive economic growth.
The newly inaugurated four Reform Task Teams are the Housing Institutions Reform Task Team, the Multi-Agency Project Delivery Team, the Land Reform Task Team, and the Building Materials Manufacturing Hubs Task Team.
He urged them to deliver their recommendations within eight weeks.
Dangiwa said the teams would conduct a thorough review and facilitation of necessary legislative amendments of relevant housing industry laws, including the National Housing Fund Act,1992; Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria Establishment Act, 1993; Federal Housing Authority Act,1973; and PenCom Act to allow for increased investment in housing.
He said apart from other steps taken by President Bola Tinubu to revamp the housing sector by demerging it from works, inaugurating the task teams was a major step to actualising the renewed hope agenda for the sector.
“First is the Housing Institutions Reform Task Team. It aims to develop a robust framework for ensuring that housing agencies under the supervision of the ministry are optimised to deliver effectively decent and affordable homes to Nigerians.
“Second is the Multi-Agency Project Delivery Task Team. The aim is to ensure that all housing agencies under the supervision of the ministry work collaboratively towards optimising their strengths to deliver decent and affordable housing to Nigerians.
“Third is the Land Reforms Task Team, tasked with developing a blueprint that will aid the sustainable implementation of much-needed reforms necessary for streamlining land administration and ensuring easy, cost-effective, and efficient access to land in Nigeria,” he explained.
According to the minister, the Building Materials Manufacturing Hubs Task Team’s primary job is to conduct a thorough assessment of the current state of the building materials manufacturing sector in Nigeria, including existing facilities, capacities, and key players.
He mentioned that they are to also identify challenges and opportunities within the sector.
Dangiwa noted that the government would provide all the resources the committees need to ensure they deliver within the timelines stipulated in the terms of reference.
“I look forward earnestly to your recommendations in the coming eight weeks so we can begin the process of implementing them towards building a vibrant and efficient housing industry that delivers decent and affordable housing to Nigerians,” Dangiwa said.
The four committees of 33 members are chaired by Mr Adedeji Adesemoye (Housing Institutions Reform Task Team), Dr. Ugochukwu Chime (Land Reforms Task Team); Architect Nuhu Wya (Building Materials Manufacturing Hubs Task Team); and Brigadier General Tunde Reis (retd)(Multi-Agency Project Task Team).
Reacting, members of the Housing Development Advocacy Network applauded the minister for the laudable step of involving experts in making critical housing decisions.
The Chairperson of the board of directors at Shelter Afrique, Chi Akporji, said, “Congratulations to all the task teams’ chairmen. You all are the crème de la crème of the housing sector in terms of expertise and experience. We are expecting great and impactful results from your work.”
Also, the Chairman of the Real Estate Developer Association of Nigeria, FCT branch, Nuel Osilama, stated that the reform teams are round pegs put in round holes.
“This is exactly what we have been saying for a while now. Put round pegs in round holes, and Nigeria will become a better place,” he said.
On his part, the President of the Ideal Habitat Initiative, Timothy Nubi, urged the minister to consider the urban regeneration committee.
He said, “A committee is seriously missing, the urban regeneration committee, that is our low-hanging fruit.”
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