vThe Federal Government is set to unveil a Nigerian housing model that will be suitable and acceptable to all Nigerians. Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, who disclosed this at a forum in Abuja, said government is already working on the design in furtherance of the its housing policy.
“A lot of work is going on and very soon you will see the result of that work. Let me be very clear; we are in a result business but I have learnt that it is results that are sustainable that become enduring.
“We’ve built all sorts of houses but when you look at it, has a housing implementation programme responded to you? Has it responded to many people? So, it is because there was no sustainability in them. So they change as the government changes. Now that’s what we are working on to build; first to design a Nigerian house – a design that all of us can say, yes, if I get a house here, I will live here.
“These are the things that are going on in the ministry now; a few designs have evolved, we are working; we are going to meet again because this process is being driven by the civil servants and by private sector volunteers, who are contributing to help.
“But because the process is going to be owned and driven over a long time by the civil servants, I want as much of their input in it because I will not be there tomorrow. But those who helped to build it, as long as they remain in the system, they will hand it over,” he stated.
Commenting on the campaign promise by the All Progressives Congress to build 250,000 houses annually, Fashola said his focus was on long-term solution rather than on the number of houses the present administration would build.
“Right now, I am not focusing on the number of houses that this administration will build; rather, I’m focusing on a long-term solution that whether this administration is there tomorrow or not, it will be difficult to say you want to change it because it works. In a matter of weeks, we will finish and unveil the design.
“We already have a budget then we can start something to validate our concept; then we will expand next year. But what that policy will also bring is predictability to the small and medium factories in Nigeria who make door handles, paints, nails, fittings, windows, roofing sheet. Because they know now that this market is ready, they can position themselves.
“It is not a rush; we will just show you a house then we cannot do it next year. We are planning and that is the hardest part,” the minister stated. He further said that once construction began, workers such as artisans, food vendors, builders, tank drivers, suppliers, among others, would be engaged to boost the economy.