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Govt charges architects on affordable housing designs


Mohammed Bello

Mohammed Bello

In search for solution for affordable housing design in Nigeria, the Federal Government has called on the nation’s architects to come with workable template that could lift the nation’s capital strive to create housing for the populace.

The Minister, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello, has said though government was greatly concerned about the 17 million deficit housing unit in the country, the architects’ body has a lot of work to do towards solving this national challenge.

According to the Minister, of the nation’s housing deficit, FCT has between five to 10 per cent.

Undeterred, the government will embark on strategic plans to address the issue in order for citizens to have affordable and comfortable accommodation.

Bello gave this indication in Abuja at the 9th edition of Architects Colloquium, organised by the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) tagged ‘‘Architecture and the national development agenda’’.  He said the shortage of housing units in the FCT is due to the peculiar demography of the city occasioned by the massive influx of people into the city.

Bello said it is worthy of note that the total built up space of the 8,000 square km the city is made of is still about 20 per cent.  He said onus therefore lies on the council to assist the government build befitting edifices, affordable, liveable and environmental friendly houses for residents.

His words. ‘’The task of building a befitting capital in the face of scarcity of fund and mass influx of people still remains a challenge.  In our search for solution to this challenge, I am very optimistic that the architects’ association will help us to navigate out of this murky waters by construction of affordable, liveable and environmental friendly housing alternatives that ensures that our people have access to housing.

Represented by Ikenna Ekeredu, an architect, the minister said the FCT Administration would soon commence the implementation of the Abuja master plan, as well as review urban planning, settlement and development policies to address the issues of collapse buildings.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola stated that the Federal Government has completed a design to commence a mass housing units in all the six geo-political zones of the country as soon as the 2016 budget is passed into law.

Represented by Sani Gidado, an architect, Fashola explained that the projects were designed to suit the geographical locations, climate of the zones as well as the religious inclinations of the people in each zone.  He said the idea is to build houses that would fix into peoples’ idea of comfort ability and not to make people fix into houses that do not meet their psychological and emotional needs.

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