80% of Nigerians can’t afford Mortgage housing –FG

The Federal Government has identified lack of access to affordable housing finance as one of the major causes of housing deficit in Nigeria, saying 80 per cent of the citizens cannot afford a mortgage as a measure to get a home.

The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, made the revelation at the opening of the maiden Kaduna International Housing Exhibition at the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Hall, Kaduna, yesterday.

He said the major issue governments at all levels have to address in their desire to deliver sustainability to the citizens is the issue of affordability.

He said statistics have shown that almost half of Nigeria’s population of over 201 million are poor and have weak purchasing power.

“In fact, of the 43 million households, over 85 percent have less than N1.1 million purchasing power. Of this 40 percent (about 17.2 million households fall into the poverty income group and 47 percent (about 20.2 million) fall into the low-income group. On the whole, statistics reveal that Nigeria is a low-income country as it has only 13 percent of its population as middle class. The recent macroeconomic challenges including inflation have made things worse.”

He, however, said it was against that background that the President Bola Tinubu-led government through the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development was planning to establish a National Social Housing Fund (NSHF).

Dangiwa explained that under the NSHF, the Federal Government would pool funds from the government budget, philanthropic organisations and well meaning Nigerians towards providing decent shelter for Nigerians with no income, low income and those in the vulnerable brackets who simply cannot afford to own their homes.

“Some of these units will be delivered at no cost. We have developed the concept note that is undergoing review. Once concluded, we will present it to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval and legislation.

“Social housing is not only a necessity, it is also a security insurance for the rich and the poor. Because housing is capital intensive and the government has limited funds, we must find alternative collective avenues to help our brothers and sisters who are underprivileged. It is for our collective good.

“In this way, the underprivileged will know that we are one, that we are our brother’s keeper and that will help social cohesion, understanding and peace. This is because home ownership gives individuals a sense of belonging and a stake in the community.”

The Minister commended the Governor Uba Sani-led government for its practical, inclusive and pragmatic vision for housing delivery, part of which led to the organisation of the maiden Kaduna International Housing Exhibition.

Dangiwa commended Governor Uba San’s administration for its practical, inclusive and pragmatic vision for housing delivery, part of which led to the organisation of the exhibition.

While speaking,  Sani stated that the provision of affordable houses for Kaduna citizens was a priority of his administration, adding that the government was committed to addressing the housing deficit.

Sani, represented by his deputy, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, stated that the state had adopted different approaches to address the housing deficit, which included partnering with local and international investors.

Other approaches, he said,  were the Social Housing Scheme, Development Lease Agreement (DLA), Public Housing Corporation, site and services.

“We must create and innovate to make affordable houses available to our people. We must work to address our housing deficits as a conscious and deliberate effort to restore our collective dignity,” Sani said.

Speaking earlier, the Managing Director, Kaduna State Development and Property Company (KSDPC), Mr Abubakar Rabiu, said the company was set to embark on some  key housing and housing infrastructure projects.

He explained that the projects included ‘Ultramodern Mechanics Village’, for the Eastern Sector of Kaduna metropolis, featuring an Electric Vehicle (EV) Assembly Plant and ‘CNG Conversion Stations’.

There is also Electric Vehicle Charger Manufacturing and strategically located electric vehicles charging points.

Others are, a five-star hospital with doctor quarters,  a private university to be named ABSAAR University and a  building materials village to service the Eastern Sector of Kaduna metropolis.

Also, there will be trucks and ‘Heavy-Duty Mechanics Village’, which were expected to attract and facilitate the construction and delivery of at least 2000 mixed-type housing units across Kaduna metropolis within the next five years.

In his welcome address, Managing Director Kaduna State Development and Property Company (KSDPC), Abubakar Rabiu Abubakar, announced the launch of two social initiatives: the Arewa Construction Academy and the KSDPC Housing Cooperative Society, demonstrating the state’s commitment to social investment, skill development, and addressing the housing needs of low and middle-income families.

He also said KSDPC was set to embark on certain key housing and housing infrastructure projects, including the ultramodern mechanics village for the eastern sector of the Kaduna metropolis, featuring an electric vehicle assembly plant, CNG Conversion Stations, EV Charger Manufacturing and strategically located EV charging points, A 5-star Hospital with doctor quarters.

The exhibition is being attended by developers, producers and marketers of building materials and other stakeholders in the housing industry.

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