Director, University of Lagos Centre for Housing Studies, Prof Olugbenga Timothy Nubi has called on federal government to crash the cost of construction through mass production of affordable housing.
He said that until government commences mass production of houses, that the poor cannot live in a compound. He stated this in Abuja at the 12th Abuja International Housing Show (AIHS), with the theme, “Driving Growth & Sustainability in Nigeria’s Housing & Mortgage Markets- Improving Structures and Policies for Impact”.
Nubi pointed out that more than half of the entire urban dwellers in sub-saharan Africa lives in slums. The don recalled that about 20 years ago that means of transportation in Lagos state was almost zero, saying that if ‘molue’ was phased out that slums would also disappear.
Nubi stated that the disappearance of molue on Lagos roads was as a result of conscious effort by the state government, which also led to the introduction of BRT buses. He disclosed that 70 percent of prime land in Lagos state is sitting on slums adding that slums like sickle cell are African problem.
To this end, he enjoined states, federal and local governments to immediately focus on urban regeneration as was done in Liverpool. Nubi pleaded with stakeholders to change the narrative of the World bank that 50 percent of Nigerians are living in slums, stating that government’s should devote the next 50 years in urban regeneration.
On his part, the director of AIHS board, Rev Ugochukwu Chime noted that the provision of acceptable, safe, secure, accessible and affordable shelter is a fundamental human right as well as an essential component in the advancement of both the economic development of the nation and the promotion of quality of life of the citizens.
Chime who is also the president of Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Rev. Ugochukwu Chime said that section 16(l) (d) of 1999 constitution under the fundamental objectives of state policy mandated the government to provide adequate shelter for Nigerians but regretted that home ownership has been a mirage for the middle and low income segment of the society.