EVENTUALLY, waking up to the realities arising from growing urbanization, Commissioners responsible for lands, housing and urban development matters from 33 States and other senior officials of relevant Federal and State Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) who gathered recently to draw up strategies and deliberate on how issues affecting housing delivery and urban development could be assuaged, have approved a comprehensive cadastral mapping of the country.
The Commissioners met with the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Amal Pepple at the second meeting of the National Council of Lands, Housing and Urban Development in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, also approved the establishment of a geographic Information System (GIS) technology in land administration and approved the establishment and development of a framework for a ‘one-stop-shop’ on land titling and registration system.
Another milestone reached at the meeting is the plan for the reviving of ailing crafts/vocational training centres in States and establishment of six new ones in the geo-political zones as well as reviewing and restructuring of curricula of tertiary institutions offering building related courses. The Council recognized the existence of huge capacity gap of artisans and craftsmen in the building industry and approved the upgrading and conversion of the existing building training centres at Lagos and Ikeduru, Imo State to skills acquisition centres.
They solicited the support, cooperation and collaboration of States, local Governments, traditional rulers, Non-Governmental Organizations, and other stakeholders for the sensitization and mobilization of the populace on the efforts of the Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reforms to institute a more efficient and sustainable land titling and registration system in the country.
Council noted the importance of housing as fundamental human rights and supported that more attention as well as resources be devoted to the provision of social housing and cooperative housing as veritable strategies for the reduction of housing deficit and to address the social consequences of homelessness.
Similarly, they adopted seven housing delivery models for mass housing development, namely New Towns Development, Cooperative housing, Public-Public Partnership, Public-Private Partnership (PPP), Regeneration (including completion of abandoned houses), Rental Housing and Sites and Services Scheme.
They also supported full commercialization of the Federal Housing Authority and urged Ministry to facilitate the process without delay to enhance its operational efficiency and effectiveness in housing delivery.
While supporting the setting up of a Mortgage Refinancing Company (MRC) as being conceptualized by the Federal government, to significantly scale up access to mortgages in the country, the Council urged the Government to recapitalize the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria so as to make it a more effective and efficient financial institution as obtains in other parts of the world.
The meeting in its communiqué also urged States to support and contribute to the National Housing Fund (NHF) in accordance with the provisions of the Act, to facilitate home ownership for t citizens.
They noted the gamut of urbanization challenges and the frequency of natural/human disasters in the country and approved the development of new towns in various States of the Federation, advised that the new towns should be cities of the future, green, eco-friendly, resilient and competitive, complemented with all enabling infrastructure and services.
Amid the positive impact of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) projects and programmes in ameliorating the problem of urban slums, the Council urged that the implementation of the MDG be sustained beyond the target date of 2015. It also urged States and Local Governments to cooperate with Ministry to undertake an urbanization review for Nigeria.
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