A former State for External Affairs Minister, Mr. Dubem Onyia has punched holes in the federal and state governments housing policies in Nigeria saying they were designed to favour and benefit the elite.
Onyia who was speaking in Enugu at the 2016 first Enugu Housing/ Real Estate Development Forum that was organized by the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), attributed the slow growth in Nigeria’s housing sector on the big number of untrained and incompetent people in the sector instead of having professionals run the sector.
He added that housing is likely to remain a big challenge in Nigeria if the current policies were not changed; adding that efforts and resources should be made to take care of the needs of the poor majority that constitute over 75per cent of the population.
Onyia regretted that every time government talks about constructing a real estate, it is mainly meant for the elite and not for the low-income earners who are the majority.
“Housing projects by the Federal and State governments are meant for the elite. You don’t build for the lower class people. I am happy that the Commissioner for Housing in Enugu State is here.
I want to see that by the end of this programme, the common man in Nigeria will have hope for affordable housing”, he said.
Ugo Chime, the President of ECCIMA, said they partnered with Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN) and decided to invite all stakeholders and player in the industry not only in improving housing but creating employment opportunities in the country.
Chime added that they were offering training to artisans with the support of UKAID because they are of belief that unskilled work force were major stakeholders in the housing industry.
Noting the experience of United States and South-Africa where the real estate sector contributes 65 per cent and 60 per cent respectively to their Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the President expressed optimism that housing development could save the country from recession and put her back to the path of economic growth and sustainable development.