17m housing deficit report erroneous, says Fashola
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Monday, refuted reports that more than 17 million Nigerians are homeless.
Although he admitted the data used for the report was extracted from the preface of the 2012 National Housing Policy report, Fashola maintained that the data was “baseless and unverifiable.”
The minister, who likened the data source to “a house without an address”, lamented the fixation and binge on a supposed 17 million housing deficit by stakeholders who have no proof.
According to a statement issued by the minister’s special adviser on communication, Hakeem Bello, the former Lagos governor made the remark at a roundtable session of African ministers at the just concluded 42nd Annual General Meeting of Shelter Afrique, a pan-African bank, tagged, “The data question – which are the real numbers? harmonisation of housing market data in Sub-Saharan Africa”.
He said the figure which sparked uproar among Nigerians was erroneously derived from a housing policy written by the ministry without a verifiable source of data adding the minister at the time could not provide a source for the data.
He explained that the minister who admitted to the preface said it was prepared by aides and the pressure of work did not allow sufficient vetting.
The statement partly read, “Everyone in Nigeria knows there is a 17m housing deficit in Nigeria. This data has no credible source, but we are ready to assert it. Happily, I eventually found where it came from. It was in the preface to the 2012 National Housing Policy signed by the Minister then in charge of the Ministry of Housing, three years before I took office.
“I put a telephone call through to the Minister, who admitted to the preface but said it was prepared by aides and the pressure of work did not allow sufficient vetting. Needless to say, the Minister confirmed that the Data has no verifiable basis.”
Although the former Lagos governor admitted that Nigeria is a country with a significant number of empty houses, particularly in the urban areas, he noted that it is impossible to hold such a figure in spite of numerous housing projects embarked upon by the current administration.
The minister further appealed to the general public to disregard the figures, noting that the planned national census will disclose the number of homeless persons soon.
“Is there a housing deficit? certainly, there is. I acknowledge that but how should we approach it? My view is to use first what is proven and one of the things that has been proven is that the world has come to accept that rural-urban migration is fast-growing, a phenomenon called rapid urbanisation.”
“To the right-thinking and well-meaning people, I urge you to disown this baseless data and I invite you all to let us work together like rational people using what we know while we await the result of the national housing population for 2023,” he added.
Reacting, the Chief Executive Officer, Eximia Realty, Hakeem Ogunniran, queried the move by the minister to debunk the figures days to the end of the current administration, noting that, “It is absolutely uncharitable for any member of this government to disparage a figure (albeit extrapolated) which has been quoted and relied upon by such credible institutions as the World Bank, IFC, Center for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa and several leading experts in this field.
The expert who spoke via a Whatsapp platform for housing experts wrote, “If this government has an issue with this data, it had eight long years to conduct its own survey and give the “correct and credible” figures. Rather than “attack” the credibility of the housing deficit data at the twilight of its tenure, this government should admit the total failure of its National Housing Program which has delivered a meagre 2,800 units of houses in 8 long years. In reality, government officials should alight from their high horses, learn from those who know and get help in this all-important area.”
Another expert, Femi Oyedele, said, “The government must wake up, agree with the existing figures and start working with it or take responsibility to conduct a new housing census.”
Wizkid’s Disc Jockey, DJ Tunez’s Laptop Stolen in Maimi
DJ Tunez has lost his laptop in Maimi. According to the official disc jockey of afrobeats star, Wizkid, he said he lost his laptop bag at the Afronation Festival in Maimi, United States, during the weekend. He said the laptop bag contained his working laptop and pleaded with whoever is in possession of it to return it to him. Tunez disclosed this via his Instastory recently. He promised a cash reward to anyone that finds it. He wrote, “I lost my laptop bag in Maimi please if anyone finds it contact me!Cash reward!“My Starboy DJ laptop ooo.”
I Didn’t See It Coming – Keyamo Reacts to National Honour
Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo has reacted after President Muhammadu Buhari conferred a National Honour, Commander of the Order of the Niger, CON, on him. Reacting on Sunday, Keyamo said he was conferred along with other “deserving and distinguished Nigerians”, saying he was number 15 in the list. Keyamo thanked and prayed for Buhari, asking God to honour the president as he did to others. The statement reads, “I was very delighted to wake up this morning to the news of the conferment on my humble self of one of the highest National Honours of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) (No. 15 on the list).“I had no single inkling this was coming and for this I am grateful to the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.“His style is to give honours and privileges to those deserving of them and not those who lobby for them. Thank you, Mr. President and may God Almighty continue to honour you even as you have honoured others”.
President Buhari Confers Citizenship On 385 Foreigners
Nigeria’s Commander-in-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari has conferred citizenship on 385 foreign nationals, The Nation reports.He declared them worthy Nigerians after meeting all necessary conditions. The conferment was conducted on behalf of the President by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, at Gen Abdulraman Danbazzau Conference Hall, Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), Headquarters, Abuja. Buhari said his administration gave citizenship to more foreigners than any administration so far, asserting that the gesture was to encourage foreign investment and boost the nation’s economy. He described those conferred the citizenship as worthy of the honour, saying they have contributed in various fields of human endeavours to the development of the country.The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola said those conferred with the citizenship met the stringent conditions attached to it, and called for the review of the Nigerian Constitution to allow more foreign nationals apply for citizenship. He said in Europe and United States, foreigners who had lived there could apply for citizenship after 5 years, but wondered why in Nigeria foreigners would have to wait for 15 years before they could apply for Nigeria citizenship. He however commended Buhari for initiating policies that make application for citizenship attractive to foreign nationals, saying from the records a total of 671 have been conferred with Nigeria citizenship within the past five years. Aregbesola said: ”That we have a high number of foreigners willing to become Nigerians is an indication that the on-going efforts of the Federal Government to make Nigeria a destination for investment and peaceful coexistence is beginning to yield good fruits.“I must state also that it is under our administration that the largest number of foreigners have been naturalised. “Between 2011 and 2013,a total of 266 foreigners became Nigerians. In 2017, 335 people took up Nigerian citizenship. But last year, 286 foreigners and today at this ceremony, 385, making a total of 671 have acquired Nigerian citizenship.“I am still not pleased with this figure. In Europe and America, thousands of foreigners are inducted into citizenship every year. They do this to attract youths and people in their prime who would like to contribute to the development of their countries.“The bane of the smooth pathway to Nigerian citizenship however is the constitutional requirement of continuous residency in Nigeria for 15 years.” This is a huge disincentive, considering that in the United States and most European countries, it is five years. Some of these countries have made a habit of snatching young and resourceful brains – who after four years of schooling and working for just one year – through easy pathways, to obtain quality migration to their countries.” I will therefore urge the relevant institutions of state to reconsider this in the next effort at amendment to the constitution. We ought to have easier pathways to citizenship for foreigners than currently obtains.”
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