The Federal Government on Sunday said state governments could apply on behalf of their residents for the houses that are up for subscription under the National Housing Programme in 34 states.

It disclosed this at the 11th Meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development, with the theme, “Housing our People By All of Government and All Our People,” which was held in Sokoto.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, explained that state governments could apply to fund the acquisition of parts of the National Housing Programmes constructed in their states should they desire to do so.

He stated that after the acquisition, the state governments could then allocate to interested residents and indigenes.

Fashola was quoted in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by his media aide, Hakeem Bello, as saying, “Let me use this platform to inform the meeting that state governments can apply on behalf of their residents or indigenes to fund the acquisition of parts of the National Housing Programmes constructed in the states should they be so desirous.”

The minister expressed delight that the NHP was delivering on its objective, stressing that apart from stimulating the economies of the 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory in the communities where work was being done, the construction sites had become centres of supply for building materials and other commodities.

Fashola, however, pointed out that whatever the federal and state governments could do by way of housing construction was limited compared to what the private sector could do.

He said the evidence out there showed very clearly that the bulk of housing in society and across the world was delivered by the private sector consisting of individuals and corporate bodies.

“In this regard, I am happy to report a visible increase in the participation of the private sector in Nigeria’s housing sector,” he said.

According to him, the development of estates across the country could be seen, read and heard about on various media platforms in Nigeria. “This is most welcome and must be encouraged,” the minister stated.

Fashola emphasised on the need for the collaboration between the government and the private sector in housing delivery.

The minister, however, noted that there was a need to be conscious of the fact that not everybody would be interested in a house built by the government, as some would wish to build their houses themselves and only seek access to land.