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A university don, Prof. Timothy Nubi, has called for the enactment of a Housing Act in Nigeria that will guarantee access to decent housing for all Nigerians, similar to the Universal Basic Education

Varsity don advocates enactment of Housing Act
A university don, Prof. Timothy Nubi, has called for the enactment of a Housing Act in Nigeria that will guarantee access to decent housing for all Nigerians, similar to the Universal Basic Education that ensures every Nigerian child has access to primary and secondary education. Nubi who is an expert on housing and urban regeneration and a Senior Lecturer in Department of Estate Management at the University of Lagos made the call at an inaugural lecture in Lagos.

Typical houses requiring mortgage financing
File: Typical houses requiring mortgage financing
“About 60 percent of the present population of the country lack adequate housing. Current housing deficit is about 16 million units. Housing inadequacy is felt more by the less privileged groups (low income earners, the displaced, youth, elderly, physically challenged), even the middle class have started to feel the pain of the acute housing shortage.

The current deficiency, in addition to projected demography trends, points to the need for several million housing units to be built across the country in the coming years.

“The Nigerian housing sector, in all its component areas, requires active government participation as a firm enabler and not just a regulator. It is a necessity of government to give every Nigerian whatever they need to make sure that no Nigerian sleeps under the bridge like a dog. It is something that when it becomes a law, it will no longer be an obligation but a rule of the government.

The Act will specify the age at which you can get your own house and the quality of housing, among other things and should be the basis for a law that every house in Nigeria must meet certain specifications and every worker must have access to housing. Now, there are people who take the government to court that they didn’t do a particular thing, when there are laws and the government is not obeying it, because you know it is a law then you can take the government to court.

People are taking the government to court concerning the violation of the Electoral Act, because there is a law; politicians can take the government to court, so also in the medical profession. When there is a law, the people can find something to fight with; but when everything is policy, it becomes optional for the government to implement,” he stated

The university don advocated that all the existing policies on housing and land administration should be harmonised into the proposed law. “We have a building code, which should be an important part of the Act; the building code has not become law, but it should be made an important component of the Act.”

He also noted the need for the creation of a workable mortgage system to tackle the difficulty of housing provision in the country. He said the plan should engage the public sector as against the current system that has left housing in the hands of the private sectors. He also charged government to make consistent housing policies based on elements drawn from the developed countries, whose policies have produced massive, positive outcomes, since the early 1930s when such countries have put in place effective mortgage plans.
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