The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Architect Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, on Tuesday inaugurated four Housing Reform Task Teams to ensure the successful implementation of the Renewed Hope Agenda for the housing and urban development sector.
Director Information in the ministry, Salisu Haiba Badamasi, said in a press release that the task teams are the Housing Institutions Reform Task Team, Multi-Agency Project Delivery Task Team, Land Reforms Task Team, and the Building Materials Manufacturing Hubs Task Team.
In his remarks, Dangiwa noted that the teams represent an important step towards delivering on the mandate of the ministry in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the Tinubu administration.
He decried the failure of successive governments to implement plans and recommendations put forward by committees in the past, noting that the difference with the present inauguration is the political will of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his personal commitment as minister, and the reputation of the chairmen and members of the task teams.
He said: “What unites us is the desire for Nigeria to have a vibrant, functional, and efficient housing industry that not only meets the shelter needs of Nigerians but also to unlock the massive potential of the sector for catalysing inclusive economic growth.
“Over the 60 years of Nigeria’s independence, we have witnessed successive governments roll out series of housing development plans and policies.
“Despite these many plans, our country has sadly failed to meet the housing needs of Nigerians as we still grapple with a huge housing deficit.
“Housing sector contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) hasn’t moved in any significant way over the past several decades, housing development institutions are still only functioning at sub-optimal capacities, and the enabling housing laws are obsolete.”
Dangiwa noted that the president has demonstrated that housing is a part of his priorities towards actualizing his vision of creating a $1 trillion economy by demerging the ministry from the Ministry of Works and appointing building professionals to lead it, adding that the task teams are a major foundational step necessary to implementing the historic reforms for actualizing the president’s vision.
He said: “The task teams have been carefully constituted to include all relevant stakeholders, such as agencies of government, professional and regulatory bodies, the academia, industry experts, traditional rulers, and other groups.
“The goal is to tap from the wealth of knowledge and experience of these relevant sectors and individuals, and come up with strategies that are inclusive, wholesome, and can stand the test of time.”
While acknowledging the skepticism that often accompanies such teams due to past failures and public mistrust, the minister assured that the chairmen and members of the teams are individuals of character who have exhibited professionalism, result-oriented leadership, and distinguished service in their various fields.
“I am confident that they will deliver, and the deliverables will form the foundation for a strong and vibrant housing and urban development sector,” he said.
The Housing Institutions Reform Task Team is expected to develop a robust framework for ensuring that housing agencies under the supervision of the ministry are optimised to deliver effectively on the Renewed Hope vision for the provision of quality, decent and affordable homes to Nigerians.
This includes a thorough review and facilitation of necessary legislative amendments of relevant housing industry laws, including the National Housing Fund (NHF) Act,1992, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) Establishment Act, 1993, Federal Housing Authority (FHA) Act,1973, and PenCom Act to allow for increased investment in housing.
The team will also map out strategies for driving the nationwide adoption and passage of the model mortgage foreclosure law in states.
On their part, members of the Multi-Agency Project Delivery Task Team are saddled with the responsibility to ensure that all housing agencies under the supervision of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development work collaboratively towards optimising their strengths to deliver decent and affordable housing to Nigerians, by removing the bottlenecks that hinder effective collaboration between the ministry and housing agencies.
The minister said part of its terms of reference includes developing a comprehensive strategy and roadmap for the construction of 50,000 new houses per year.
The Land Reforms Task Team, on the other hand, is tasked with developing a blueprint that will aid sustainable implementation of much-needed reforms necessary for streamlining land administration and ensuring easy, cost effective and efficient access to land in Nigeria, drawing from the extensive work of the Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reforms (PTCLR) which has been working for the past 14 years towards comprehensive reforms including the establishment of a National Land Commission.
The Building Materials Manufacturing Hubs Task Team is expected to conduct a thorough assessment of the current state of the building materials manufacturing sector in Nigeria, including existing facilities, capacities, and key players, as well as identify challenges and opportunities within the sector.
The result will be a blueprint that will ensure sustainable implementation of reforms for the sector and the establishment of building materials manufacturing hubs in each of the six geo-political zones across the country.
Delivering the vote of thanks, the Minister of State, Alhaji Abdullahi Tijjani Gwarzo, urged the task teams to take the job as a call to national service to ensure that Nigerians benefit from the initiatives.
The leaders of the teams were handed the terms of reference for each team and urged to work within the stipulated timelines for speedy actualisation of the deliverables.