On Tuesday, the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ahmed Dangiwa, pledged to resolve concerns about data on the number of homeless people in the country in the coming months.
The minister also vowed to champion land administration and institutional reforms to create an enabling environment for housing delivery and job creation.
Addressing top ministry officials and heads of agencies at a press conference held at the ministry headquarters in Abuja, Dangiwa underscored the important role of housing data in ensuring all Nigerians have access to decent, quality, and affordable housing while fostering livable communities.
As part of his priorities, he also promised to get accurate data on the housing deficit in the country, saying he does not agree with the current numbers bandied about.
The minister said, “I don’t agree with the current data on housing deficit, because honestly, even my predecessors have opposed the figure mentioned around.
“But the problem is that no one has made efforts to come out with the correct figure and that is what they should have done.
“So my priority is that and I mentioned it even during my screening; that I will engage the services of data consultants who would go round the country and get the needed data.
“I am also aware that The National Population Commission will conduct a census on housing and the number of persons in need of homes. We have started conversations on that even before our inauguration.
“I have met with the chairman of the NPC and discussions are ongoing and I promise to make sure the relevant data on housing is made available soon.
“It is a task we have been given and we will make sure it is delivered.”
Speaking further at the press conference, the former managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria said there were numerous challenges in the sector but that they were determined to turn them into opportunities whereby jobs would be created and inclusive growth would be enhanced.
The minister also revealed plans to accelerate the reform of the FMBN and the Federal Housing Authority so they can have the necessary capacity and technological edge to deliver world-class services to Nigerians.
Dangiwa stated, “We are facing numerous challenges, but with challenges come opportunities for growth and progress. With rapid population growth, the demand for housing in our nation is ever-increasing, and it is our duty to rise to the occasion and meet these needs head-on.
“In line with the vision of President Bola Tinubu, I promise to take bold initiatives, champion strategic housing reforms, and break systemic barriers to housing and urban development.
“Amongst several plans and priorities, we will work closely with the National Assembly to review relevant laws to streamline land administration and create a conducive environment for investment in the housing sector.”