Kingsley U N Chikwendu —
The Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) yesterday in Abuja, in a one day conference organized by the correspondents chapel of the Union, FCT Council, together with the Housing Development Advocacy Network (HDAN), called on the federal government and relevant stakeholders to assist in providing affordable housing for their members in the country.
They also discussed ways to find lasting solutions to the housing deficit facing the country.
The chairman of the union’s correspondents’ chapel, Jide Oyekunle specifically urged the Nigerian government to quickly act on the growing housing deficit to meet up with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDG), which states that by the year 2050, over 6.5 billion people will be living in cities.
Oyekunle stated that Nigerian journalists have served the country with dedication and patriotism, therefore, deserve a better living.
He added that the role of the media in affordable housing cannot be over-emphasized, particularly as at the moment the country is faced with a challenge of more housing deficit.
The event themed ”Housing for All: The Role of Cooperative Societies and Financial Institutions” also had its focus on the low income Nigerian workers, with the bulk of emphasis laid on their daily earnings which they said can be aggregated and harnessed with the aim of curtailing existing housing deficit in the country.
Barr Collins Mbeh, the Group Secretary of Domak Group International, representing the Chairman, Dr Kingsley Azonobi, said his firm is already leading a paradigm shift in focusing on reducing housing deficit in the Nigerian society.
“We are already leading a paradigm shift as a company in this direction to refocus attention on the middle-class earners on how to provide affordable housing for them, Mbeh said.
“The fulcrum of the Nigerian economy are the ordinary people.
“The aggregation of wealth can be harnessed to reduce the housing deficit in Nigeria. This partnership can be forged to reduce the housing deficit in Nigeria”, he added.
Managing Director of TI Bilon Construction Limited, Mr Toochukwu Nnamoko pointed at the negative effects caused by the struggling Nigerian economy on its citizens, adding that it is more difficult now for an average Nigerian to rent a home, let alone own one.
“The Nigerian economy has not been favourable for Nigerians to be able to own their own houses or even rent one, he said.
“The economy makes it more difficult for the common man to own a house”.