The Executive Director, Housing Development Advocacy Network, Festus Adebayo, has urged the incoming administration to prioritise housing for Nigerian youths as a solution to stop the exodus of young intellectuals to foreign countries.
This was as he revealed that a radical strategy must be implemented in order to reduce the number of homeless people in the country through mass housing programs.
In a statement made available to journalists on Saturday, the housing expert noted that shelter is critical to the economic growth and development of a nation due to its impact on major macroeconomic indicators such as employment, savings, investment and labour productivity and must be given utmost priority.
He argued that shelter provision must not be reduced to political stunts but with a commitment to improving the welfare of citizens by implementing resilient and decent housing initiatives for the youths.
He further called for the creation of a “Not too young to own a home” scheme for teeming youths so as to increase productivity, stressing that a combination of housing and agriculture policies will reduce japa syndrome and rural-to-urban migration.
He said, “Some of these youths who are angry have resorted to the popular trend “Japa”. It is when you create hope for them that they can remain in the country and join the workforce.
“The last elections showed the angry state of Nigerian youths. We, therefore, call for more government attention for our youths through housing and agriculture. We strongly recommend the creation of “Not Too Young To Own A Home Scheme” as one program the new administration must implement to curb this menace.’
Speaking further, Adebayo advised the President-Elect to ensure that the Central Bank of Nigeria redoubles efforts at strengthening the mortgage system in the country.
“The new government must not be involved in the direct construction of housing but instead collaborate with credible developers with an excellent record of achievements while also ensuring regulation of the real estate practice to promote professionalism in the sector.”
“It is also important for the new government to engage manufacturers of cement in a bid to reduce the continuous rise in the price of building materials across the country.”
“With a robust mortgage system, corruption at the level of the civil service will be cut down drastically” Adebayo assured.
He added that radical perspectives on the part of key players and relevant government agencies in ensuring land availability, better regulations and professional inputs to reduce costs in the sector must be developed soon.