FG to create social housing fund for underprivileged

Committed to the provision of decent shelter, the Federal Government has indicated interest to create National Social Housing Fund for the underprivileged in the country.
This, the Federal Government believed could only be achieved with a veritable data of houses that lacked basic sanitary conditions.
Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Arc Ahmed Dangiwa disclosed this at a meeting with a delegation from NPC led by its Chairman, Hon. Nasir Kwarra and some Commissioners on Monday in Abuja.
To this end, he pointed out that the ministry would join forces with the National Population Commission (NPC) to produce a verifiable and accurate data on housing deficit across the country.
Currently, Nigeria has over 22 million housing deficit, which is expected to cost the Federal Government over N7 trillion to bridge the gap.
Dangiwa stated that the objective of the meeting was to address one of Nigeria’s most pressing challenge of obtaining accurate data on the exact housing deficit in the country.
The minister added that the ministry’s collaboration with NPC was a critical step to obtaining a well-coordinated data, adding that the upcoming national census is a timely exercise that would provide invaluable opportunity to gather precise data on citizens housing needs.
He noted that for years, Nigeria has grappled with conflicting and unsubstantiated figures on the housing crisis.
“The range of estimates, varying from 17 million to 28 million, has not only been a source of embarrassment but also a hindrance to effective policy making and strategic planning.
“I believe it is time to change this narrative and take coordinated action to bring clarity and credibility to our understanding of the housing deficit and the state of housing in Nigeria,” he added.
The minister harped on the need to establish accurate, credible, verifiable and scientifically sound data on the housing deficit and condition of homes that Nigerians live nationwide.
Dangiwa disclosed that it is only by getting acquainted with the accurate housing deficit that Nigeria could devise effective strategies in addressing the shortage.
He noted that the housing deficit was not solely about quantity of structures but also about the quality of living conditions.
“Adequate housing, coupled with proper living condition is a fundamental human right that underpins social stability and economic development,” Dangiwa added.
The chairman of NPC noted that the commission is fully ready to carry out census with digitalised tools, which he believed is long overdue.
He challenged Nigerians to present themselves for the census, saying that special populations like the migrant farmers, fishermen, non-Nigerian residents, homeless citizens and completed but empty houses would also be counted.
On its preparedness for the census, he hinted that the commission had counted a total of 55, 495, 871 estimated households in the country.
Kwarra disclosed that the commission assisted the Nigerian Postal Service in the provision of base data for post codes and also the Surveyor General’s office with data for Geo-spacial mapping.
He added that the census would assist in mapping out strategies that would be used in addressing security challenges across the country.
The chairman disclosed that the importance of data in national development cannot be overemphasized, just as he pointed out that the contemporary emphasion georeferenced data, which are data sets with reference to the geography of a nation.
In her presentation, Coordinating Director of GIS /DQM, NPC, Mrs Yetunde Adebayo informed that the forthcoming population and housing census which is the first digital census planned with international standards methodology in Nigeria is important for planning purposes.
She noted that the last time Nigerians were enumerated was in 2006, adding that data is an integral consideration towards the realisation of Nigeria’s development plans.
Adebayo pleaded with the minister to assist in facilitating a scheduled date for the census to avoid working with outdated data and save cost.

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