Synergy with dev partners key to addressing housing deficit – Minister


Mr Abubakar Aliyu, Minister of State for Housing, has said that resolving Nigeria’s housing deficit required massive synergy with development partners.

Aliyu spoke in Abuja on Thursday at a One-day Sensitisation Forum on Lands, Housing and Urban Development Multilateral Programmes of Collaboration and 10th Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF10).

The theme of the forum is “Achieving National Housing and Urban Development Goal: Opportunities for Partnerships and Technical Cooperation”.

Aliyu said that the rapid urbanisation being experienced was one of the most significant and life changing processes of the present times.

“Its scale and dimension have severe significant social, cultural, economic and environmental consequences that have impacted on all spheres of our lives in one way or the other.

“In the face of the increasing challenges and opportunities brought about by this phenomenon, it is equally important for us to scale-up actions and leverage on the technical expertise and support of development partners,” Aliyu said.

The minister said that collaborations had led to a series of urban infrastructure investments supported by the World Bank which began in 1986 with the Nigerian States Urban Development Project (NSUDP).

“Synergy with UN-Habita also resulted in the establishment of the Nigeria Country Programme Support Office (UN-HAPSO), in 2003, and we expect to soon host a UN-Habitat Multi-Country Office (MCI), in its on-going structural reforms.

“This is sure to open up a new vista of opportunities for employment and better support for housing and human settlements programmes in Nigeria.

“I challenge all present to deliberate on more innovative ways of repositioning the housing and urban development sector for the benefit of every citizen.”

Mr Mohammed Bukar, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, in his remarks, said that the forum was intended to provide useful guidelines for intending delegates to the forthcoming 10th session of the World Urban Forum coming up in United Arab Emirates, in February.

Bukar said that the forum was to acquaint stakeholders with the insight into the operations, mechanisms, tools and opportunities for collaboration, technical assistance and capacity building with key multilateral partners.

According to him, these partners have contributed substantially, through various interventions, to advance housing and human settlements development in Nigeria.

Mr Andrew Chimphondah, Managing Director, Shelter Afrique, called for collaboration of all stakeholders toward addressing Africa’s housing challenge.

Chimphondah said that Public Private Partnerships (PPP), was the way to go if the issue was to be effectively tackled.

According to him, through such collaborations, affordable and adequate housing can be provided for the citizens.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the forum, which had in attendance housing experts from both the public and the private sectors, focused on raising awareness on sustainable urbanisation among stakeholders and constituencies. (NAN)