The International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) says it is in partnership with the federal government to tackle the country’s 28 million housing deficit.
Dr Tivlumun Ahure, Director and Ambassador of the Africa Region Headquarters of the commission, announced this while briefing newsmen in the Nigerian capital, Abuja yesterday.
The event also featured the unveiling of the new director of the IHRC Pro-Poor Housing Programme, Dr Edward Olutoke.
The IHRC is a worldwide voluntary group of individuals who are activists and diplomats in Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, North America and Africa without being affiliated with any government.
Tivlumun said that the project was aimed at contributing to the efforts of the Nigerian government to achieve the affordable housing goal listed under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) before 2030.
According to him, for the country to achieve an increase and improved housing opportunities for low and moderate income households, special needs population, among others, concerted efforts at reducing it is required.
“Indeed, Nigeria faces a severe housing deficit as estimated by the Federal Mortgage Bank indicating a deficit of at least 28 million housing units.
“While the deficit cannot be addressed within the lifetime of an administration, a concerted effort at reducing it is however clearly required.
“This will entail creating linkages between provision of land to property developers, increased availability of housing finance, reduction in property transaction costs and job creation across sectors ancillary to the provision of additional housing stock,” he said.
He added that in January 2021, the commission communicated with the federal government its intention to assist millions of people that live in slums and substandard houses to have adequate housing.
“The IHRC’s proposed Pro-Poor housing scheme in Nigeria is, therefore, going to be on a joint venture basis with the government.
“It will be to us a dream come true to facilitate an increase in housing stock via Public Private Partnerships (PPP) as well as through housing finance reforms,” he said.
On his part, Olutoke said that housing was key and important to every Nigerian as “it is fundamental to have a shelter over one’s head.
“For me this is an assignment which I am committed to achieving.
“Housing is key, shelter is too key and fundamental and these are the things we toil with in our decision making process.
“For instance, If we move 5,000 families moved from Asokoro or within the city centre to a new land, the house rents will definitely reduce and so the issue of high house rents will be a thing of the past,” he observed.