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How to tackle poverty through investment in housing will be the focus of discussion as housing sector stakeholders gather for the Abuja International Housing Show (AIHS) next week. Expectation is that the stakeholders, coming from diverse backgrounds in the housing sector, will offer insights for profitable investment in housing which is grossly under supplied in Nigeria.

AIHS is currently the largest single real estate expo and exhibition in Nigeria, drawing participants and exhibitors from the West African sub-region and the continent at large. In the last 11 years, the Show has brought together over 50,000 housing sector stakeholders from both public and private sectors to point the way forward for the sector.

This year’s edition, which is the 12th in the series, anticipates about 15,000 participants and 250 exhibitors in various types of building materials. Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, will declare the Show open on Monday, July 16.

“How government could create a conducive environment and look into outstanding housing laws at the National Assembly which include Land Use Act, foreclosure laws and mortgage banking law, and how these would attract more investment in real estate will also be discussed”,

Festus Adebayo, the convener, said in an interview. “Our expectation is that once government plays that role, we can use housing to fight poverty, bearing in mind that at every construction site, jobs are created and many people are engaged including professionals, artisans and labourers.

Through this, wealth is created and the economy is better for it”, he added. Hope of home ownership, especially for civil servants, is increasingly becoming a remote possibility.

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This is why this edition of the Show is not planned as a talk-show but a forum for exchanging ideas from leaders, and enabling people to acquaint themselves with the latest developments in the housing sector.

“This forum is also aimed to strategise for practical solution to housing problems in Nigeria. It will assist people to get building materials at discounted rates from manufacturers who will be exhibiting their products here,’’ he said.

About 26 speakers from different African countries and international organisations including the World Bank, African Union of Housing Finance, UN Habitat and India Federation for Housing are expected.

Also expected are the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola as the Chief Host, and FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State, The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita.

Some ministers expected from the African countries include the Deputy Minister for Works and Housing, Ghana, Freda Prempeh and the country’s members of parliament who will also be in attendance.


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