The President, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Mr Roland Abonta, believes that 17 million housing deficit often touted by housing authorities as what the country requires to meet its housing needs might not be totally correct.
This, according to the housing expert and property business man, demonstrates a lack of housing planning in the country.
Similarly, the NIESV boss charged relevant authorities to encourage authorities on building affordable housing in the FCT, saying that the current practice of building upscale houses may not be of benefit to the National Housing plan.
“The biggest challenge in the housing sector is the issue of planning. If you plan for nothing, you also target at nothing.
Over the years, housing has been made a political issue such that every administration that comes into power spends some huge money that is not based on any indices at all. They do not know what they are providing for, neither do they attain the goal they set for themselves. But at the end of the day, some budget has been spent.
“So where to start is to plan for housing. Where do you start with? It is to know what you need, which brings us to the issue of proper housing survey” he said.
He said the 17 million housing deficit being bandied about may not be correct because there was no empirical figure to back up the claim.
He maintained that housing survey is necessary to determine the housing stock, and the existing housing needs in the country, adding that adequate planning will bring all other problems into proper perspective.
Abonta said it will be impossible for low income earners to own their houses with the kind of housing arrangements and financing available in the country.
According to him, elsewhere in developed society there is always provision for social housing, stressing that the NIESV had in past harped on establishment of such housing scheme in the country to no avail.
He said that a responsible system or government will insist that investors in the housing would dedicate a reasonable percentage to low income people.
He accused Federal Housing Authority (FHA) of building big houses, and I am yet to know when they will do the kind of thing they did in Lugbe in those days which was called National Housing Programme, he lamented.
Abonta, making this declaration recently, said that Nigeria is breeding criminal elements with the wrong approach to housing provision.
He therefore, called on Federal government and stakeholders in the housing sector to stop playing politics with the issue of housing, and engage in proper planning towards solving the problems of housing deficit in the country.
The NIESV President spoke during the Inaugural meeting of the 2019/2020 National Council of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers in Abuja.
He maintained that Nigeria would become a better nation the moment stakeholders stopped playing politics with housing issues.
“If you allow me, I will call on government, and call on people of Nigeria to be honest with the issue of housing. It is not a political statement. It is a human requirement ranked as number two amongst human needs. The day we stop playing politics with it, the day we stop joking with it, then we will be a better nation.
“People do not know the ripple effects, a man who woke up in an indecent environment, brought up in an indecent environment, when he comes out the tendency is for him to get angry with nature; the criminal elements of today had a very poor background. Nigeria is breeding criminals with wrong housing provision. And the moment we stop that we will do better,” added.