The Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Surv, Suleiman Zarma has said that the Federal Government will continue to encourage the organized private sector and development partners within and abroad to invest in Nigeria’s housing market in view of its viable and enormous potential. He stated this at the 2nd Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN) Building Expo in Abuja. The Minister said, ‘’the present administration has demonstrated commitment and will sustain partnership with the private sector towards the full realization of the National Housing Policy which places emphasis on private sector driven housing delivery’’. He added that budgetary allocations were being consistently provided in the fiscal years to guarantee effective collaboration with contractors for housing delivery across the country.
The Minister commended the effort of REDAN for organizing the Expo, stating that the organized private sector is not only heeding the call by government for close collaboration in addressing the housing challenges but also taking the lead in doing so. Suleiman explained that the emergence of the on- going National Housing Programme in each state of the federation was part of the administration’s determination to provide shelter and affordable housing to Nigerians, adding that other housing programmes such as the Mass Housing under the prototype housing scheme and the Ministerial Pilot Housing Scheme were other strategic housing programmes embarked by the administration to bridge the housing deficit in the country.
President of REDAN, Rev Ugochukwu Chime said the main thrust of the Build Expo is to ‘’further enunciate to stakeholders the essence of collaboration to upscale the real estate and housing sector of the Nigerian economy’’. He observed that the bane of the sector has been the unarticulated and individualistic efforts which produces insignificant results to change the expected momentum Nigerians desire. According to him, ‘’housing is no more about providing shelter, it is now a veritable tool for employment generation, inclusive economic growth and fulcrum to reversing economic downturn in most climes’’, adding that it is the engine of growth that propels development. In his keynote address, Professor Timothy Nubi, Director, Centre for Housing Studies of the University of Lagos restated the need for collaboration amongst stakeholders in the housing sector and also with the government.
He said stakeholders must understand the real estate development value chain processes which includes: site generation, development appraisal, development research and design, arranging development finance, building contract, construction management and disposal of finished houses, adding that the processes can produce over 250 ancillary industries. He identified collaboration at all levels as the major driving force and advised government to create enabling environment to guarantee the desired impact.