In a resolute move towards addressing Nigeria’s housing challenges, the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Architect Ahmed Dangiwa, has affirmed his ministry’s commitment to optimal performance in delivering housing solutions to Nigerians.
Dangiwa conveyed this commitment during a meeting with members of the Nigeria Institute of Architects (NIA) in his office on Tuesday, September 5, 2023.
“We are positioning the ministry to perform optimally and serve as the pivotal organ providing policy directions to the housing sector,” stated the minister. He emphasized that several housing policies were undergoing comprehensive reviews to align with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, which aims to stimulate economic growth and create job opportunities for Nigerians.
The minister emphasized that revising these policies would create a conducive environment for economic growth, acting as a catalyst for job creation and poverty alleviation.
Regarding the recurrent issue of housing collapses in Nigeria, the minister assured the professionals in attendance that his ministry would address the matter. He expressed confidence in the collective expertise of professionals in the built environment and State Commissioners of housing, asserting that the ministry would formulate policies to curb this menace.
Arc. Enyi Ben-Eboh, the President of the Nigeria Institute of Architects, outlined several critical areas hindering the architectural practice in Nigeria. He appealed to the Minister to address these issues:
Regulating Building Materials: Collaborate with the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to establish a dedicated unit for overseeing building materials entering the country.
National Housing Policy: Revise the National Housing Policy to better benefit architects and the broader housing industry.
Funding for Housing: Advocate for a policy making housing funding a “first line of charge.”
Regulation of Private Developers: Develop policies to regulate the activities of private developers in Nigeria.
Professional Development: Ensure suitable career placements for architects within the Ministry to promote professional development and career advancement.
Furthermore, the NIA President stressed the importance of architects’ active involvement in the National Development Plan (2021-2025) to assist the federal government in achieving its ambitious mandate of providing 500,000 to 1 million houses annually.
Arc. Ben-Eboh also expressed his desire to revive regular meetings of Chief Architects of Nigeria, which he believed would foster positive architectural practices in the country.
In a bold proposal, Arc. Eboh called for the establishment of the Office of the Architect General of the Federation to oversee the operations of architects in Nigeria, underscoring the importance of their role in the nation’s development.