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Minister Blames Housing Crisis On Land Use Act

Minister of state for works and housing, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, has stressed the need to revisit and reform the Land Use Act to facilitate housing development in Nigeria.

The minister made the remarks yesterday in Abuja when he visited the Federal Housing Authority (FHA).

He said the Act is a big challenge to housing provision because under it all lands are administered by the state governments. He noted that the federal agency wants to develop houses for low income and middle income earners but does not have lands.

“That means we are at the mercy of the various state governments for us to get land because you cannot build a house on water, houses are built on land. And those lands must have titles. We also know that there are other things that are associated with those titles from the beginning to end of those process.

“That is why I was saying that there is need for us to look again at the Land Use Act and make it easy. The Act is not helping housing development.

“We can have reforms, there are various reforms that we have been trying in other jurisdictions and it has worked successfully. Easy access to land will lead to easy access and provision of houses,” Sambo said.

He noted the FHA was established in order to carter for a particular segment of society, adding that President Buhari’s nine-point priority areas included social inclusion.

According to him, social inclusion means empowering the poor. He said anyone who does not know where to sleep has incomplete life. He said that the president had made it clear that infrastructure is his number one priority.

He said infrastructure include housing infrastructure and that there is no better organisation to drive housing infrastructure than the Federal Housing Authority that has a history dating back to 1973.

In his welcome address, the managing director of FHA, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, said that when the current management took over in 2020, the authority was in a limbo with its capacity to deliver on its mandate at the lowest ebb but now the narrative has changed for the better.

Ashafa said the management has within one year of its tenure established a firm staff welfare scheme that provides good work environment to ensure productivity. It has developed new partnerships with key players in the industry for another source of financing authority’s projects and is currently implementing the new corporate structure that will make FHA compete in economic environment of the new world.

He said, “There are key challenges that seem to be of serious encumbrance towards reaching the ultimate objective of taking FHA to a position of peak performance.

“The authority’s establishing laws are obsolete and not in tune with current realities of the expectations of the industry, need for their review is eminently important.”

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