Housing and Urban Development Minister Amal Pepple says that for Nigeria to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the private sectors must be encouraged to support government in housing delivery.
Pepple made the suggestion in a paper she presented at a seminar and exhibition organised by Water Africa and West Africa Building and Construction in Abuja on Friday.
She said that every opportunity must be explored to reduce housing deficit in the country through collaborative effort.
Represented by Mrs Morenike Babalola, Deputy Director, Town Planning in the ministry, the minister said the Federal Government would need to inject more funds into the mortgage institutions.
She said that the Federal Government would need to restructure them to improve access to housing loans.
“More efforts should be geared towards mobilisation of bilateral and multilateral funds in form of grants and interest-free loans for housing development.
“The issue of sovereign guarantee should be addressed as this is a requirement to attract foreign investors to the sector,’’ the minister said.
Pepple also said that the ministry would ensure alternative building technologies, such as the Industrial Building System, which is encouraged to ensure faster and cheaper production of houses.
She noted that government would assist the private sector to purchase building materials directly from manufactures to reduce cost of construction.
The minister promised that preventive measures would be taken to check the growth of slums through proper planning and that funding of slum upgrading should be continuous and predictable at all levels.
Mr Joseph Lopez, a participant in the seminar, called on Nigerians to invest in housing technology that could withstand all environmental hazards.
The theme of the seminar is: “How to reach the Millennium Development Goals for Housing in Nigeria and How to Encourage the Private Sector.''
However, the international building and construction materials were show cased at the venue as alternative materials.