Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon has called on the federal government and stakeholders of the housing industry to take necessary steps to ensure that affordable houses are provided for Nigerians at various levels in order to promote national development.

Gowon made the call in Abuja at an event to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA).

General Gowon explained that the vision behind the establishment of the Federal Housing Authority fifty years ago was to rebuild communities by providing homes to every Nigerian.

The former head of state who said the Federal Housing Authority had made progress so far through innovations, resilient and the collective efforts of stakeholders, expressed optimism that the present Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration would deliver on its promises to transform the nation’s housing sector.

“So, let us embrace the challenge of the present with the same spirit of determination and innovation that characterised the establishment of the Federal Housing Authority.

”May this anniversary serve as a reminder of the power of vision a moment of relaxion the enduring impact of collective effort toward a common goal and rededication to the noble cause of building homes and nurturing communities,” General Gowon said.

Mr Ahmed Dangiwa, the Minister Housing and Urban Development, maintained that the ongoing reforms by the ministry would strengthen the capacity of the Federal Housing Authority to deliver houses especially to no income and vulnerable Nigerians.

Mr Dangiwa expressed concern that the Federal Housing Authority was yet fulfill its objectives of reducing the nation’s housing deficit.

According to him, the construction of 1000 houses annually was gross inadequate considering the nation’s housing deficit.

“Now, ten years after commercialization, records show that FHA has only delivered a cumulative of just over 50,000 housing units. That shows an average of 1,000 houses per year in 50 years. This is clearly not acceptable, especially from Nigeria’s foremost housing agency that has so many institutional advantages that it can leverage to deliver more results,” he said.

The minister said his administration through the Federal Housing Authority and other agencies in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, plans to build over 40,000 houses across the nation.

Mr Dangiwa said the first phase of the New City Development Plan aims to deliver Renewed Hope Cities ranging 1,000 housing units per site in one location in each of the six geo-political zones of the country and the FCT.

He maintained that the first phase of the ‘Renewed City Hope’ would build a total of forty thousand homes which would create over one million jobs directly and indirectly.

The Managing Director Federal Housing Authority, Senator Gbenga Ashafa said despite numerous challenges which include inadequate funding and an obsolete act establishing the Authority, they successfully established estates across the country.

The keynote speaker and Former Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola emphasized the need for government at all levels to introduce credit rent which is a monthly payment for houses.

The event also witnessed the presentation of a documentary and cultural performance by various troops to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Federal Housing Authority.

Source: Radio Nigeria