The committee has been mandated to recommend cheaper ways of funding Nigeria’s housing sector.
The Federal Government is exploring cheaper means of funding the country’s housing sector, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Amma Pepple, said in Abuja.
The minister who was speaking at the inauguration of the Steering Committee on the Restructuring and Commercialisation of the Federal Housing Authority, FHA, mandated the committee to recommend cheaper ways of funding the housing sector in the country to help ease the problem of housing.
She said the outcome of the committee’s work was crucial to help the private sector invest in the Housing sector. The minister urged all organisations represented on the committee to actively participate and make their valued contributions. She said the committee was made up of experienced and knowledgeable professionals who were carefully selected to deliver on the objectives.
Ms. Pepple said that the inauguration of the committee was a major milestone in the collective and determined efforts of the present administration to make housing delivery more robust and efficient in line with the new housing policy and the Federal Governments Transformation Agenda. She expressed regrets that the first national housing policy in the country, which sought to provide houses for all Nigerians by 2000, failed; pointing out that at the moment, the country was having a housing deficit of about 16 million units.
The new national housing policy, which was approved last year, the Minister said, was designed to provide affordable housing for Nigerians. Ms. Pepple also said that achieving the objectives required the concerted efforts of all stakeholders, the three tiers of government, financial sector operators, the organized private sector, professional bodies and cooperative societies.
She said that the purpose of establishing the FHA in 1973 was in line with desire of the Federal Government to realise the objective of mass housing for the citizenry, pointing out that it was unfortunate that after more than 40 years of its existence, the agency was only able to build 37,000 houses for 167million Nigerians.
The Minister attributed the poor performance of the FHA to, among other issues, historical operating losses, huge legacy debts, poor internally generated revenue (IGR) base, poor corporate governance, high cost of housing units and lack of internal cohesion.
She charged the committee to work with the Technical Board and the Interim Management Team (IMT) to ensure the full commercialization of the FHA in accordance with the Public Enterprises Privatisation and Commercialisation Act of 1999.
The Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Benjamin Dikki, urged the committee to look at all issues that hinder participation of the private sector in massive housing development in the country.
The committee is to review the institutional policy and legal and regulatory framework of the country’s national housing sector and make recommendations in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda as well as evolve a workable housing policy for the country.
In an attempt to re-position and strengthen the FHA for more effective service delivery, the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development had constituted a committee in May 2012 to examine the structure, operations and challenges facing the Authority.
The Committee, which submitted its report on August 10, 2012, recommended the structural overhaul and commercialization of the FHA.
To ensure early implementation of the report, an implementation team was set up and its recommendations were approved by President Goodluck Jonathan in December 2012, following which the Technical Board was inaugurated to oversee the affairs of the FHA during the restructuring period.
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