Kingsley U N Chikwendu —
The President of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Alhaji Dr. Aliyu Wamakko, Thursday, at the 4th Jakande Housing Lecture Series in Lagos, said the housing initiatives made by the late Lateef Jakande created opportunities for economic development as well as enhanced commercial activities in Lagos.
He also said that the enhanced commercial activities led to urbanization and increase in trading activities which have made the state Nigeria’s Centre of Commerce.
The late Jakande whom Wamakko described as a visionary leader and an icon in the housing industry, “lived a selfless life, spent his entire lifetime in the service of humanity without equivocation and expectation of compensation in return”, according to the REDAN president.
“Records have it that the late Alhaji Jakande developed many estates estimated to be about 30,000 housing units that dot the Lagos landscape. This feat created opportunities for economic development as well as enhanced commercial activities in Lagos, Wamakko said.
“The multiplier effect of this accomplishment led to urbanization and increased trading activities thereby making Lagos the Centre of commerce in Nigeria till date. We once more salute his selfless service to humanity.
“Pa Jakande of blessed memory was a visionary leader and an icon of the housing sector.
“Therefore, we of the REDAN family are committed to ensuring that Nigerians own or have access to decent, safe and affordable housing of which Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande was an epitome of this vision and mandate”.
Wamakko also revealed that it is on record that certain efforts were made by past and present governments and stakeholders in the housing sector towards provision of affordable housing delivery in Nigeria, the housing deficit has not been surmounted.
He added that this was partly due to population increase, lack of political will by government to build houses to accommodate this surge in population, high cost of houses that are not affordable to the majority of Nigerians to either buy or rent, high cost of land and finance as well as other factors.
While disclosing that the Jakande Housing Lecture Series was birthed to “provide robust Housing Stakeholders’ forum where critical matters in the housing sector will be analyzed, discussed, practical solutions proffered, and advice given to government on policy formulations that will positively impact on governance particularly in the housing sector”, the REDAN boss added that this year’s theme titled: ‘Driving Affordable Housing in Nigeria: The Cooperative Approach’, is considered as part of the solution to increase the stock of housing in Nigeria.
He also stated that in the considered opinion of REDAN, the Nigerian government should concentrate on boosting the Nigerian Economy via massive housing construction. “Housing development does not require incubation period, what is needed is strategic and holistic planning”, he said.
“To complement Government efforts in the provision of shelter for Nigerians, REDAN initiated the National Housing program tagged Rural-Urban Housing Initiative (RUHI-774) which is aimed at developing at least 100 housing units in each of the 774 Local Government Councils of the Federation including the FCT, where feasible and viable, Wamakko added.
“It is designed to enable any citizen to own a home at his/her Local Government of origin or anywhere of their choice in the country.
“The Association is working assiduously with the Family Homes Funds Limited and Shelter Afrique to finance the projects with the FMBN, MBAN & NMRC supporting our flagship project. The Return on Investment is guaranteed.
“We call on governments at all levels (Federal, States and Local Governments) to listen and cooperate with REDAN, evaluate our proposal and synergize with us to quickly revamp the Nigeria Economy. This is very feasible and workable. We are very much attuned to discussions and ideas”, Wamakko further disclosed.