The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday in Abuja approved a new draft policy on housing aimed at producing an average of one million housing units annually.
Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, made this known to State House correspondents after the weekly FEC meeting which was presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo.
He said the new policy, when operational, would provide additional employment opportunities and income generation in the country.
``Council deliberated on this policy and all of us appreciated the kind of effort, the energy, and the idea that went into the policy.
``Essentially this policy hopes to achieve certain strategic objectives for Nigeria. The first is that it hopes to bring about re-mass housing which this country has continued to dream about for decades.
``This policy emphasizes the central role of the private sector while the government serves as a regulator, as a policy facilitator.
``But, over and above this, the policy hopes to drive employment and income generation in the country.
``The minister took pain to explain to us that in fact, far more than many sectors housing offers the opportunities for economic growth, GDP growth, job creation and driving income generation and welfare of people.’’
Also addressing the correspondents, Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Ama Pepple, explained that the new policy would address the housing problem of low-income earners and ``the poorest of the poor’’ in the society.
She stated that the policy also addressed the issues of maintenance of houses, slums in urban areas, skills acquisition centres and disaster management.
``There is one important issue that was brought up during our stakeholders forum, at the National Council; the issue of maintenance because a lot of our people, when we build a house we just leave it.
``Look at the block of flats in Abuja, I think I can’t remember, there was a ceremony we had and we had to go and repaint some of the houses. We don’t pay attention to maintenance.
``So, this we have also included in the policy.’’
The minister announced the introduction of Public-Public Partnership programme on housing.
She said also that the Ministries of Education and Lands, Housing and Urban Development were collaborating to construct mass housing units for workers of the former under the initiative.