Mrs Freda Prempeh, Ghanaian Deputy Minister of Works and Housing, has urged African countries to boost housing development by exploring local resources to achieve local content.
Prempeh said this on Monday in Abuja at the 12th edition of Abuja International Housing Show organised by FESADEB Communications Ltd.
The deputy minister said Africa was endowed with natural resources like timber, clay, mine stones, among others, but were not being harnessed for housing development to reduce deficit.
She decried the housing deficit facing the continent, adding that Ghana recorded many housing intervention programmes to reduce housing deficit and achieve Sustainable Development Goal nine and 11.
She said “the housing industry is capital intensive, so we have to be innovative by using different technologies.” She called on African governments to ensure collaboration with private sectors to acquire landmark and provide infrastructure needed for effective housing development.
Rev. Ugochukwu Chime, board member of FESADEB Communications Ltd. appealed for vibrant policy that would accommodate the interest of financiers and investors not accommodated in existing laws and policies in the country.
Chime said the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, Section 16, under the Fundamental Objectives of State Policy, compelled the country to provide suitable shelter for all citizens. According to him, access to decent and affordable accommodation ought to be the birth right of every Nigeria.
He, however, added that “this had been a mirage to most Nigerians, especially the middle and low income earners. “This is because housing entails large capital outlay, which is beyond the surplus accruable to families after taking care of other existential needs.
“Instructively, there has been a paradigm shift in housing delivery approach from individual efforts at direct construction of homes using their savings. “This change in home ownership approach is yet to be appreciated and the structure for effective management of the transaction dynamics has not been developed in Nigeria.”
Chime urged government to see housing provision as its primary responsibility by making policy framework and creating enabling environment for real estate business to thrive.
Mr Kenneth Nduka of Nigeria Institute of Building (NIOB) called for effective synergy between professionals in the built environment to tackle challenges. Nduka said through the synergy, the professionals would ensure that only standard building materials were used in the provision of affordable houses.
He added that “this show offers opportunity for real estate industry to interact, be inspired, make deals, network and effectively participate in moving the real estate industry toward socio-economic development.”
The show featured presentation of award to Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger as Smart City Governor of the Year. The show also awarded Life Time Achievement Housing award to Amah Pepple, former Head of Service.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, also received the Best Performing Minister in Recent Years. The show, scheduled to hold from July 16 to July 19, has its theme as “Driving Growth and Sustainability in Nigeria’s Housing and Mortgage Markets-Improving Structures and Policies for Impact.”