Wike berates FG of lip service to Housing

The Rivers State Government has accused the Federal Government of paying lip service to issues pertaining to provision of adequate and affordable housing for the poor and less-privileged in the country.
To this end, it says it has become pertinent for the present administration to commence and ensure the implementation of realizable housing policy that would satisfy the yearnings of the increasing population of the nation.
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, who stated this while declaring open the 5th National Housing Summit of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) at the Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, said that the issue of providing housing for the people of the country had been a recurring discussion which was never implemented.
The State Chief executive, who was represented by the Commissioner for Housing, Barrister Emma Okah, remarked that the consequence of the neglect was negative, and lamented the huge gap created in the housing sector between the rich and the poor in the society.
According to him, no nation can claim to be successful if it cannot provide houses for its citizens, decrying the continued failure of the Federal Government to provide sustainable housing projects for the people, especially the poor and the low-income earners who are majority.
Describing the theme of the summit, “10,000 housing units In Each State of the Federation: Issues and Prospects”, as exciting and challenging, Wike said that to cover the gap in Rivers State, the present administration, within its four months in office, delivered and commissioned 50 low-cost housing units at Iriebe.
He, however, acknowledged that it was difficult to provide low-cost houses for the teeming population but added that it was important that as a state, it has to develop and implement a policy that would help those in low, middle and top echelon, pointing out that the state government was doing so much in the housing sector.
“We are robust in developing housing for the low-income people”, he stressed, saying “we must rescue the housing estates in Port Harcourt, restore them and give them facelift not minding the resistance by illegal occupiers”.
Wike urged the institution to begin to champion moves at getting relative housing for the people to reduce the cost of houses and cover the existing gap, stressing the need to encourage public/private partnership in the development of the housing sector as well as solving housing problems in the country.
In his speech, the President, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Dr. Bolarinde Patunola-Ajayi, said that the Federal Government’s decision to provide 10,000 housing units in each state of the federation was remarkable and desirable if the procedure would be religiously followed and implemented.
The NIESV boss stressed the need for the government to use prototype designs that would make it cheaper and easy for people to acquire the houses, pointing out that one of the problems facing the housing sector was lack of right management skills to maintain houses.
Earlier, the Chairman, NIESV Faculty of Housing, Elder Biodun Odeleye, called on federal and state governments to facilitate housing as a priority area as the people were in dire need of houses, and assured of the institution’s preparedness to key into government’s initiative in the housing sector.

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