Nigerians deserve to have access to decent, quality and affordable housing, the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Arc Ahmed Dangiwa, has said

Speaking during the stakeholders’ agenda setting on assuming duty, the minister said the issue of access to affordable housing by Nigerians is up to industry’s players in their various capacities to do things differently and collectively work towards breaking all the systemic barriers that are preventing that from becoming possible.

“This is really what drives me and that is why I am very grateful to His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for giving me the privilege to serve as the Minister for Housing and Urban Development.

“I consider this a big opportunity to work with you all in our shared vision of affordable housing for all Nigerians.

“Today I make bold to say that I am highly optimistic that with the support of His Excellency to do uncommon things, there is no challenge that the housing sector currently faces that collectively we cannot overcome,” he said

He reminded his audience that the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development carries a huge responsibility in setting the agenda and ensuring a coordinated approach to housing and urban development.

He said the responsibility of the ministry is to create an enabling environment that encourages private sector investment and formulate policies that empower agencies under his supervision to perform their functions optimally.

This roles, he assured would be a central focus of his leadership as a minister.

“I have been one of you and still remain one of you. I know your passion for the housing sector, I know and understand the issues that bother you regarding the manner and pace of development and what needs to be done to fix things.

“I also know that you all mean well, and I am ready to work with all of you towards moving fixing these issues.”

“I will consult, leverage the collective wealth of your expertise, knowledge of the industry and ideas and together we shall change the narrative for the good of our people.

“Indeed, we are facing numerous challenges, but with challenges come opportunities for growth and progress,” the minister said.

With rapid population growth, Dangiwa said the demand for housing Nigeria is ever-increasing, pointing out that it’s the duty of all stakeholders to rise to the occasion and meet these needs head-on.

In line with the vision of President Tinubu, the minister promised to take bold initiatives, champion strategic housing reforms, and break systemic barriers to housing and urban development.

“We will think outside the box and do things differently. Our actions will be informed by sound knowledge and research of what works and what doesn’t work,” he said.

Amongst several plans and priorities, he promised to work closely with the National Assembly to review relevant laws to streamline land and housing administration and create a conducive environment for investment in the housing sector.

He promised to prioritize the N500billion recapitalization of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) to give it leverage and enhance its ability to provide more affordable mortgage loans and rent to own options to Nigerians.

He said: “We will reform the FMBN, Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and other housing agencies so they can have the necessary capacity, and the technological edge to deliver world class services to Nigerians.

“Our goal is to ensure that these strategic agencies are more effective and efficient in delivering at massive scale, decent and quality housing to Nigerians nationwide.”

Doing so will also help towards unlocking the massive power of the construction industry to create jobs and contribute its quota towards achieving His Excellency’s Plan to grow the economy, boost inclusive growth and lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty,” he said.

In addition, he promised to embrace innovative housing construction financing solutions while working with relevant institutions to unlock the funding required to deliver massive affordable housing nationwide.

Presently, the minister disclosed that he had been meeting with the principal staff of the ministry and the heads of agencies under his supervision since he assumed office, assuring that within the next couple of days, he would be unveiling “our Strategic Housing and Urban Development Blueprint which will contain details of our priorities, initiatives, reforms, and plans.”

According to him, the president is committed to providing all the support that is needed to reform the housing sector and increase access to decent, quality housing for all Nigerians.

He urged all stakeholders to embrace the historic opportunity and work with passion and dedication so that “we can collectively play our part towards transforming Nigeria’s housing landscape.”