Gbenga Nubi, Director, Centre for Housing Studies, University of Lagos, has urged the Federal and state Governments to replicate the then Jakande Mass Housing Scheme to bridge housing deficit in Nigeria.
Nubi made the call on Wednesday in Abuja at the ongoing 12th Abuja International Housing Show organised by FESADEB Communications Ltd.
Nubi was speaking at the stakeholders’ session on the theme “Addressing Knotty Issues in Housing Delivery’’.
Nubi wondered why the country could not make things right in housing delivery after the pacesetting and impactful mass housing scheme of Lateef Jakande, former governor of Lagos state in 1978.
“It is the responsibility of the government to provide housing for its citizens, make infrastructure worthwhile and building materials possible to access.
“Every responsible government can follow employee housing scheme of Jakande, the government can replicate Jakande housing scheme to bridge deficit and achieve affordable housing.
“Land Use Act is not the problem hindering housing delivery in the country, rather how the government interprets it and go about it is the problem,’’ the expert noted.
He noted that the Jakande housing scheme sold two bedrooms flat for N2,500 as against N50,000 being obtainable in the market then.
According to him, if the government can emulate such feat, it will assist the civil servants and other Nigerians to own affordable houses.
Also speaking, Chi Akporji, Executive Director, Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), endorsed the replication of the Jakande housing scheme of in the states.
According to her, the states can make concerted effort in replicating the scheme because it was highly regarded and commended all over the country.
Akporji noted that the NMRC has evolved a technology platform which allowed the stakeholders and key players in the industry to come together with the goal of reducing housing cost and housing efficiency.
She decried cases of unoccupied houses in Abuja and other places in the country, adding that studies have revealed that the houses where used by corrupt people to dumb stolen money.
“Houses are the easiest place to hide stolen fund, the owners do not care about how long they stay redundant but just to hide ill gotten wealth there.
“Government can prevent such things from happening, some states are now forcing people to occupy such houses or lose them,’’ she said.
Chime Ugochukwu, National President of Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN) noted that one of the knotty issues in housing delivering was land administration issues.
Chime stated that land has a lot of characters including land registration, titling issues and restiveness in some communities.
He expressed regret that in some places housing developer could not have access to the land due to some spiritual issues and other issues.
He hoped that the show would come up with recommendations which would enhance housing development in the country.