The Federal Government will continue to provide enabling environment for investment in the housing sector, Minister for Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola said on Thursday.
Fashola made this known Seventh National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development held in Gombe with the theme: “Provision of Affordable Housing as Catalyst for Development and Sustainable Economic Growth”.
In this regard, he said, the federal government is addressing the housing challenges in Nigeria through policy and actions.
He said the housing challenge in Nigeria was as a result of the need for urbanisation, adding that people were relocating to urban centres leaving vacant houses in villages.
“The housing challenge in Nigeria is as a result of people migrating to seek jobs in urban centres. This migration has created pressing needs for houses in urban centres.”
“We don’t have housing challenge in rural areas. The challenge is only in the urban areas. This, the President has taken into consideration to initiate the common sense approach to solving the challenge.”
“Policy and actions are being used by President Muhammadu Buhari to address this challenge of housing in urban centres.
“By policy, the government is using agriculture to reverse the migration to villages.
“The revolution in agriculture has made people who rented out their farmlands to go back to their farms to plant rice, wheat, millet and other crops. This has slowed down migration to urban centres.
“After relocating wealth to villages, President Buhari is also acting out several programmes aimed at creating jobs while addressing the housing challenge. This is evident in the constructions across 34 states in the country.
“The federal government is constructing housing units in 34 states that gave lands to the Federal government. Over 1,000 workers are working in each of the sites’’, he said.
Also speaking, Gov. Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State commended the Federal government’s efforts aimed at constructing housing units in the state were commendable.
“I commend the Federal government for constructing 150 houses in the state. This is a demonstration of the commitments of the Federal government to housing development in the state and country.
Also speaking, Hajiya Fatimah Abubakar, Gombe Commissioner, Ministry of Metropolitan and Urban Development said it was imperative to approach the housing needs holistically by designing a comprehensive housing policy with inputs from the council.