Nigeria’s minister of works, power and housing Babatunde Fashola on Tuesday denied reports that the country has 20million housing deficit.
The former Lagos State Governor said it was wrong insinuations to think that Nigeria has only five million housing deficit.
He acknowledged that Nigeria has housing challenges and it is not peculiar to only the country.
Addressing the press at the end of a capacity building workshop for “Federal Controllers of lands and housing in the country” in Ilorin, Kwara state, he said: “First of all, I don’t believe that 20 million housing deficit number. Nobody has owned up to it. It is a number of no origin, I say so. So the person who did that data should come up and take ownership of it.
“But that is not to say that there is no housing challenge. We have it, every country in the world has it. Its level and degree is a function of so many things. It is perhaps, more pronounced in the urban centres as it is in the rural areas. But even in the urban centres, there are still empty houses even where there is a problem of shelter.
“What we are doing is to try and complete ongoing projects that we met. We have started our own national housing programme. The idea is to design a product that Nigerians accept and can afford. One of the reasons why we have a number of empty buildings and houses is that some of these buildings are acceptable or are not affordable or both.”
He added that the ministry had removed the mandatory 10 per cent equity contribution before accessing loan from the National Housing Funds (NHF).