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‘Deploy 50% EFCC recovered funds to housing’

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[FILES] Housing

The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers has advised the federal government to channel at least 50 per cent of all recovered funds by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), towards the provision of affordable housing in states of the country.

The Chairman, Faculty of Housing, Chief Chika Okafor stated this during an event to mark the United Nations World Habitat Day 2019, and presentation of a roadmap to housing development to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in Lagos.

Okafor who lamented Nigeria’s huge housing deficit of over 17 million said, if the step is taken by the government, it would cushion the effects of housing shortfall, arrest Nigerian urban decay and promote effective housing delivery strategies through adequate funds to the sector

He observed that the majority of funds recovered are from the housing sector; hence, the government should re-invest the money in the industry to benefit the masses that are the original owners of the stolen resources.

The chairman posited that access to land should be made easier and less cumbersome for the citizens who should also be granted necessary legal titles to such land.

To him, there is a need for government at all levels to create an enabling environment for housing development to take place especially in the areas of provision of adequate infrastructure facilities and relaxation of the various conditions required for land allocation and perfection.

He urged that the federal and state governments emulate Singapore success story by changing the perception of public housing from that of a mere social scheme to that of a catalyst for economic growth, social and political stability.

Okafor believes that its roadmap would accelerate housing development through public-private partnerships for job creation and economic fortification.

“Government should engage professionals in housing delivery value chain, build a robust mortgage system with single-digit interest and tame crime challenges through city regeneration. There is a need for a review of the national housing fund act to increase statutory contribution and level of participation,” he said.

“Government should in collaboration with private sector prepare a robust plan for the provision of affordable housing over a period of 30 to 40 years and a review every five years”, he stated.

NIESV Vice President, Mr. Emma Wike, who spoke on the roadmap for housing for all, said it was time for government and other stakeholders to reduce housing costs through modern techniques and construction materials.

Wike said the federal government should separate the Ministry of Housing from others, to pave way for the adequate discharge of the responsibility of housing provision for the people.

“There should be a shift in building construction from bricks and mortars which takes a long process. Dry construction is the way out now and the process of housing should be industrialized to cater to the huge demand. New technologies help to produce more houses faster”, he said.


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