President Goodluck Jonathan has said that Nigeria needs N56 trillion to bridge the country’s 17 million housing units deficit.
Jonathan who spoke through Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen at the 53rd General Assembly of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) in Abuja, stated that the shortfall alone minus infrastructure, would require more than N56 trillion, at an average cost of N3.5 million per housing unit to remedy.
President Jonathan said the task if achieved, would improve on the nation’s prevailing home ownership rate of 25 per cent.
He said his administration was aware of the conditions and the challenges facing settlements as the demand for infrastructure, basic services and housing was on the increase.
“Housing associated facilities are grossly inadequate and millions of citizens live in substandard environments or slums plagued by squalor and lacking basic amenities of life.
“To reverse this trend, my government recently announced plans to establish the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Corporation, (NMRC).
“This corporation is intended to provide funding for the housing and construction sector.
“It will be PPP initiative to partner with the Federal Government, Nigeria commercial banks and savings and loans institution with World Bank which is providing concessional credits of $300 million.’’
Jonathan urged the NIA to continue to serve as a voice and platform for robust private sector mobilisation and community participation towards the achievement of sustainable urbanisation.
He said the fact that the challenge of urban development continued to increase was a reminder to all, ”not to become complacent, but proactive in housing affairs”.
The president said a situation whereby skilled and semi-skilled jobs in the industry were taken over by artisans from neighbouring countries was unacceptable.
Earlier, the President of NIA, Ibrahim Haruna, said the organisation was founded in 1960, with the objective of promoting the practice of the profession of Architecture in Nigeria.
According to him, the association has approximately 6000 full members, associates, graduates and student members in 32 state chapters.
He said the organisation, which conducts its examinations with the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria, could be called to arbitrate in cases of dispute on liability.