Ahmed Dangiwa, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, says the Federal Government is planning to establish a National Social Housing Fund (NSHF) for low-income earners.

The Minister stated this at the opening of the maiden Kaduna International Housing Exhibition, held at the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Hall, Kaduna on Monday.

Dangiwa explained that the NSHF would pool funds from the government budget, philanthropic organizations and well-meaning Nigerians to provide decent shelter for citizens who cannot afford to own homes.

The minister also added that statistics have shown that almost half of Nigeria’s population of over 201 million, were poor and had weak purchasing power.

“Out of the 43 million households, over 85 per cent have less than N1.1 million purchasing power.

“Forty percent (about 17.2million) households fall into the poverty income group and 47 per cent (about 20.2million), fall into the low-income group.

“On the whole, statistics revealed that Nigeria is a low-income country, as it has only 13 percent of its population is middle class. The recent macroeconomic challenges including inflation have made things worse,” he said.

Dangiwa also revealed that some of the housing units would be delivered at no cost, adding that the ministry had developed the concept note, which was undergoing review.

He further explained that once the review was concluded, it would be presented to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval and legislation.

“Social housing is not only a necessity, it is also a security insurance for the rich and the poor because housing is capital intensive and the government has limited funds.

“We must find alternative collective avenues to help our brothers and sisters who are underprivileged; it is for our collective good.

“In this way, the underprivileged will know that we are one, that we are our brother’s keepers and that will help social cohesion, understanding and peace.” he highlighted.

Dangiwa commended Governor Uba San’s administration, for its practical, inclusive and pragmatic vision for housing delivery, part of which led to the organisation of the exhibition.

Sani stated that the provision of affordable houses for Kaduna citizens was a priority of his administration, adding that the government was committed to addressing the housing deficit.

Sani, represented by his deputy, Hadiza Balarabe, stated that the state had adopted different approaches to address the housing deficit, which included partnering with local and international investors.

Other approaches, he said, were the Social Housing Scheme, Development Lease Agreement (DLA), Public Housing Corporation, site and services.

BusinessDay