During the 12th Meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development (NCLHUD) in Kaduna, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ahmed Dangiwa, praised Kaduna State as a model for housing reforms in Nigeria.

He commended the state for its exemplary leadership in housing development, stating that it serves as a good example for approaching challenges in the housing sector.

“In June 2017, Kaduna State became one of the first states in the country to adopt and pass into law the Model Mortgage Foreclosure Law (MMFL),” he added.

The minister further explained that the state now had a functional State Mortgage and Foreclosure Authority that coordinates and promotes housing investments and mortgage development activities as stipulated in the foreclosure law.

Mr Dangiwa said, “On the supply side, Kaduna State has implemented reforms in land administration, titling and registration and offered fiscal incentives, among others.

“They have digitised land administration through the Kaduna Geographic Information Service (KADGIS), provided land for willing developers.
”This is to help expand the housing stock and even began direct construction of low-medium income housing by their Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

“On the demand side, they have developed single-digit interest rate mortgage arrangements with Sterling Bank, FHA Mortgage Bank, and NMRC.

“The mortgage arrangement with Sterling Bank has enabled the buyers of non-essential government residential assets to secure mortgage loans to pay for the properties which were sold at open market value.”

Mr. Dangiwa added that the revenue generation for the state had risen tremendously at over N 44 billion per annum, saying that Kaduna has been in the top 10 revenue-generating states in Nigeria and first among the northern states.

“Kaduna has made all this possible in spite of the lack of amendments to the Land Use Act.

“It is therefore no wonder that the state has become a major source of foreign direct investment.

“I am particularly impressed by the State’s Qatar Sanabil Project, which aims to deliver about 500,000 housing units.

”This is a laudable feat and testament to the business-friendly environment of Kaduna State that is worthy of emulation,” he added.

Mr Dangiwa also said that President Bola Tinubu has shown that housing was a top priority for his government, adding, ”because of its unique potential to catalyze economic growth, create jobs and lift millions out of poverty.

“The implication is that Mr. President now expects action and results. So, as Commissioners of Housing and critical stakeholders in the housing delivery value chain at both national and sub-national levels, we must all up our game.

“We must work harder to break all the barriers that have mitigated against the progress of the sector.

“At the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, we are committed to providing the right leadership as the focal driver of His Excellency’s bold vision for the housing sector.

”Indeed, we are charting a progressive, proactive, and knowledge-based approach to address these by thinking out of the box,” he said.

The minister, however, said that the ministry was exploring creative solutions and would implement necessary reforms that would rewrite the story of housing and urban development in the country.

“I urge you all to join me so that when the story of the transformation of the sector is written, you will be happy to have contributed your patriotic quota,” Mr. Dangiwa concluded.

In a remark by Abdullahi Gwarzo, Minister of State, Housing and Urban Development, said that the ministry was laying good foundations in the areas of Housing Programmes and Interventions in line with the Presidential Priority Projects and other key programmes.

“We thank the Minister of Housing who is the Chairman of this noble Council for sterling leadership qualities, deploying his vast wealth of experience acquired over the years in piloting the affairs of this critical sector of the economy,” he added.

Also speaking, Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State, who was represented by Aminu Shagali, Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development, said that housing was a vital component of human existence that ought to be treated with topmost priority.

To this end, the governor said the state government had built 624 affordable housing units in four locations including; Rigasa, Ungwan Tanko in Chikun Local Government Area, Zaria, and Kafanchan.

He, however, commended the choice of this year’s theme, “Harnessing Local and International Credit Schemes as a Panacea for Affordable Housing Infrastructure Development Under the “Renewed Hope Agenda,” describing it as carefully chosen.

Sen. Aminu Tambuwal, Chairman, Senate Committee on Housing and Urban Development, said affordable funding has been part of the problems of the housing sector.

Mr Tambuwal said that the sub-sector was key in the growth and development of the economy and assured the National Assembly’s readiness to partner and cooperate with the Ministry in ways to deliver affordable housing to the teeming populace.

On his part, Aminu Balele, Chairman, House Committee on Housing and Habitat at the House of Representatives recalled that the country was faced as of 2011, with a housing deficit of 28 million.

“It is our opinion that the time has come that governments at all levels and the private sector would come together to fashion out viable housing options.

“It is our hope that this council will provide genuine and reliable policies which would impact positively on the current population growth,” Mr Balele said.

Source: Daily Nigerian