Sen. Gbenga Ashafa, the Managing Director of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), highlighted the urgent need for a substantial financial injection of at least N500 billion to address Nigeria’s staggering housing deficit, estimated at 28 million homes. Speaking at a press briefing commemorating the FHA’s 50th anniversary in Abuja, Ashafa emphasized the critical role of housing in the economy.
The Managing Director recounted the historical impact of FHA in initiating projects like the Diamond Estate, Festac Town, and various estates in Ogun State. He expressed a commitment to achieving more with the renewed hope model. However, Ashafa emphasized the limitations imposed by the agency’s current funding status.
Contributions Of The FHA Over The Years To The Nigerian Housing Industry.
Ashafa acknowledged the FHA’s significant contributions to housing over the years, citing the construction of 49,000 units through direct efforts and an additional 100,000 units through collaborations with private developers. Despite the achievements, he lamented the challenges posed by the amendment of the FHA Act, which transitioned the authority from a fully government-funded entity to a partially commercialized agency.
Addressing the need for financial support, Ashafa stated, “Let us be modest. First, we are not in the budget of the federal government. We are trying to be modest, and if something reasonable will be given to us we can assist in building. Additionally, an amendment is done in such a way that we are able to enter that federal government budget. I won’t be asking for less than N500 billion to start off Nigeria’s housing deficit”
Over the past three decades, Nigeria’s housing deficit has escalated from 7 million in 1991 to 28 million in 2023. While government initiatives aim to address this gap, fundamental issues in the real estate sector persist. Key challenges include the need to review existing land laws and simplify and digitize land title processing. Additionally, it addresses rising building material costs, activates a vibrant mortgage culture, and views housing as a social investment. It will also foster robust private-sector partnerships. Addressing these issues is crucial for the success of the government’s renewed hope initiative to bridge Nigeria’s housing deficit.
The plea underscores the urgency of addressing Nigeria’s housing deficit and the pivotal role the FHA aims to play with adequate financial support.