FG acknowledges hike in building materials, difficulties in acquiring houses

From Teryima Ajijah, Jos

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has said federal government of Nigeria is aware of the challenges been faced by citizens, due to lack of affordable housing, particularly in urban areas.

The minister stated this in Jos recently, at the 9th meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and turban Development holding in Jos, the Plateau State capital.

Represented by the Minister of State, Works and Housing, Engr Abubakar Aliyu, Fashola noted with regret that house owners in Nigeria do extort tenants with exorbitant rent.

The minister, however, acknowledged the hike in building materials, which he said has escalated particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Fashola assured Nigerians that the Ministry of Works and Housing is working towards curbing the challenges of housing in urban areas.

According to him, 86 co-operatives have been engaged in providing affordable housing, with 35.784 billion naira cumulative approved from the mortgage bank.

He explained further that the sum of 10.95 billion naira cumulative has been disbursed as at January 2021 as a means of providing affordable housing for Nigerians.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, also acknowledged the difficultly in acquiring houses.

Governor Lalong told the minister that his administration has subsidized housing by slashing 50 percent of acquiring lands in the state since 2016.

Lalong said his administration has constructed and rehabilitated over 40 roads within Jos and Bukuru metropolis with street lights.

He appealed to the minister to help facilitate the take-off of the approved Akwanga Jos, Gombe federal road to allow easy moment of motorists.

The meeting is scheduled to discuss means of ensuring qualitative and affordable housing in Nigeria.

Participants across Nigeria, technical experts are attending the week long event, a communique is expected at the end of the meeting.

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