The Minister of
Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has said that for the country to effectively tackle the housing problems facing the nation, a consistent, measurable and sustainable housing policy is required.
The minister, who stated this at the just concluded 35th Annual General Meeting and Housing Symposium of Shelta Afrique, which held at Abuja, also said that this policy must be led by government.
Fashola pointed out that in the past, government had dabbled into housing initiatives, which he said did not succeed owing to their unsustainability, and suggested an urgent change of strategy based on a sustainable and well thought out initiative.
According to him, “the Federal Government would continue to prosecute overall housing policy stand which recognizes the government as active facilitator of private sector-driven”.
He cited the housing initiatives of developed countries, observing that they were targeted majorly at housing the working class people, saying that the public housing initiative of the United Kingdom was initiatives by government in 1918 and that of 2014, 648 percent of the UK’s populace were home owners adding that in Singapore, the initiative was by government in 1960 and has provided housing for 80 per cent of the population.
He said, “what is common to both model is that there was uniformity of elision, a common target to house working class people and not the elite, statandardisation of fit like doors, windows space, electrical and mechanical and also common concept of neighborhood.”
He observed that many of the Public Private Partnership (PPP), housing initiatives entred into have either stalled as a result of inadequate financial capability, land dispute or litigations, reasoning that, “this is not the road sustainability”.
The minister noted that the foremost thing to do in housing was proper planning, adding that, it was crucial to success or failure of the project.
He stated, “our plan requires us to evolve agreeable housing types, to standardise the size of our doors, windows, toilet and bathroom fitting, lighting fittings and other accessories so that our small and medium enterprises can respond to supply all the building materials, create diversification and jobs and ensure that projects are completed with a steady, supply of materials and to ensure that the designs reflect our behavioural partners”.
The Minister of