A professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Afolabi Aribigbola, has called for the introduction of effective social housing scheme for the masses.
This, he said, would address the predominant urban development problem in Nigeria.
Aribigbola also stressed the need to strengthen the housing and urban development policies to accommodate households’ social demographic characteristics.
He made the call while delivering the 13th Inaugural Lecture of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, titled, “Urban housing development quandary in Nigeria: Disconnect between policy and reality.”
Aribigbola said, “To resolve the quandary in housing and urban development in Nigeria, there is a need for pro-poor housing and urban development policies. I also recommend the need to incorporate households’ social demographic characteristics into housing and urban development policies.
“This essentially calls for the introduction of social housing scheme to take care of the needy that cannot take care of their housing needs. The social housing scheme must be vigorously pursued for the sake of the vulnerable that are the majority in the country. It will help significantly by removing the serious disconnect between policy intention and actual housing delivery realities of housing situations of urban dwellers in Nigeria.”
He condemned the present approach and policy which allowed unfettered market forces to determine housing consumption, maintaining that the policy would not achieve the desired result of access to decent, safe and affordable housing for all Nigerians.
According to him, the required housing policy must seek to expand housing provision that would meet the needs of urban dwellers in terms of quality and size, and create conducive avenues to increase the supply of housing units and ancillary facilities in the urban centres in order to eliminate the current housing shortage in the country.
He described as a serious anomaly the absence of up-to-date statewide plans and city master plans to guide, direct and control urban development in the country, stressing that the situation must be urgently addressed.
Arigbabola said master plans must be prepared for all the cities in the country to ensure their orderly development and the welfare of urban inhabitants.
The lecturer also called for decentralisation of state planning machinery which empowered state governments to control the use and planning of land, in line with the global best practices, noting that all stakeholders, including the local government councils must be involved in society affairs.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of the AAUA, Prof. Igbekele Ajibefun, who represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Olugbenga Ige, described the inaugural lecture as an opportunity for the university to showcase one of its numerous academic achievements, researches, innovations who had attained professorial cadre.