…Urges States Land Commissioners to be Advocates of Land Reforms
Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Arc. Ahmed Musa Dangiwa has said that the Ministry under his leadership will implement the most historic housing and urban sector reforms ever witnessed in the country. Recognising the enormous challenges confronting the sector, the Minister noted that the Ministry is exploring creative solutions to implement the necessary reforms in a bid to rewrite the story of housing and urban development in Nigeria.
Delivering his keynote address at the 12th Meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development holding in Kaduna from 13th to 17th November 2023, Arc. Dangiwa reiterated the bold vision of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the housing and urban sector, stating that the Ministry is committed to changing the narrative by addressing the housing challenge head-on, using a multi-pronged approach that caters to all income cadres of society, and transforming the landscape of housing and urban development.
“As the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, I have taken Mr. President’s vision and I am determined to actualize it. Our aim at the Ministry is to implement the most historic housing and urban sector reforms the country has ever witnessed. We want to drive through initiatives that will create an enabling environment for easier, safer, and profitable private sector investments in the sectors. 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,” Arc. Dangiwa said.
He noted that the creation of an independent Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is not just proof that the president is prioritizing the sector, but also a strong statement of the expectation of Mr. President on leaders, public servants, and stakeholders in the sector. “By this demerger, His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, has shown that housing is a top priority for his government, 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,” he added.
He reemphasized some targets of the Ministry, including the creation of Renewed Hope Cities across the country, beginning with a first phase of 34,500 housing units to be launched before the end of the year; the upgrade of 26 slums across the six geopolitical zones; extensive land reforms to promote investment in the real estate sector, strengthening of the Ministry and its agencies to better support housing delivery; and the establishment of Building Materials Manufacturing Hubs in all geopolitical zones of the country, among others, by leveraging innovative financing and credit-driven approaches.
Speaking further, the Minister said Land Reforms remains a major priority of the Ministry as it represents the foundation of the transformation that is set to come. “What we envision is a streamlined land administration that cuts through the bureaucratic bottlenecks and systemic inefficiencies to ensure cost effective and efficient access to land for both individuals and investors in our country. So, my charge for all of you as Commissioners of Housing is that you should go back to your States as Senior Advocates of Land Reforms (SALRS). Impress on your State Governments to toe the line that Kaduna and some states such as Ekiti, Nasarawa, Lagos have toed by passing the Model Mortgage Foreclosure, implementing land titling and property registration using GIS even as we work to review the Land Use Act of 1978,” Dangiwa said.
The National Council on Lands, Housing and urban Development is a policy-making instrument of the Ministry that brings together Directors and Commissioners of Lands from across the country, heads of housing agencies, housing industry stakeholders, civil society organisations, and other stakeholders to deliberate on matters affecting land administration and produce resolutions to trigger development in the sector. This year’s event was hosted by the Kaduna State Government, whose strides in land administration and housing delivery were applauded by the Minister as an example for other states to emulate.
“Kaduna State has demonstrated exemplary leadership in housing development. The State stands as a good example of how we should approach the 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).Kaduna State now has a functional State Mortgage and Foreclosure Authority that coordinates and promotes housing investments and mortgage development activities as stipulated in the foreclosure law. I urge you all to do the same in your various states, as the law will trigger immense growth in the sector and boost revenues accruable to your state government,” he added.