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We’ll Surpass 100,000 Housing Target, Says Federal Housing Authority Director Nya-Etok

Federal Housing Authority Director Nya-Etok expresses confidence in President Tinubu’s pledge of 100,000 houses in 18 months.

The Executive Director of the Federal Housing Authority, Ezekiel Nya-Etok has said that he believes President Tinubu will surpass the housing target he made to provide a hundred thousand houses nationwide in 18 months. He expressed his optimism in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Tuesday.

“I think that I have reason to be extremely hopeful that we’ll do more than the target. The reason is that first we have the market. We have the political will. The market has always been there, but the political will has not always been there. The political will has been based on misunderstanding of the role of housing in an economy. 

“In a way that I find very reassuring, Mr. President has come up in a way that we really didn’t expect. Number one was creating an independent ministry. We’ve always had this works and housing and it was a terrible marriage because works was always a husband and housing was not even a wife. It was like  a housemaid but now, we’re a full ministry. 

“The second was the appointment of a minister. We have a man who is not just an architect but he was a former M.D of Federal Mortgage Bank, meaning that he has an understanding of the industry at a wider scale. 

“The third was the constitution of the excos of the two parastatals of the housing ministry which is the Federal Mortgage Bank and the Federal Housing Authority. For the first time, there is a consideration of fit for purpose and excellence far above political patronage. The drive has been holistic from the ministry, from Federal Mortgage Bank, from Federal Housing Authority. I think that Nigeria is in to see a revolution probably for the first time in a long time in housing.”

He said the Federal Housing Authority has achieved remarkable results in the past two weeks, acknowledging that the progress on the Kasana project is commendable and it reflects the dedication of the Renewed Hope agenda team. 

“When we talk holistically about housing delivery, for instance, the Kasana project is coordinated by the ministry. But because of the way we work today, we are working like a team. So though it’s coordinated by the ministry under consultants, we are having a synergy, a working relationship with them. If you go to the site you’d be impressed by the level of work that is going on right now. That particular team of the Renewed Hope agenda coordinated housing delivery, coordinated by the ministry, is going beyond Kasana, going beyond Lagos, they’re going to every other part. 

“In Federal Housing Authority, what has been achieved in the past two weeks is unprecedented. We are blessed to have somebody that has this level of energy and drive and passion that I never expected. In about two weeks we have been to 10 states, each state addressing the governors, sitting down, having very robust engagements and the governors in each of them making a definitive statement.”

He also made it clear that “Social housing is subsidized housing not low income housing. It’s not inferior housing.” 

Speaking on what makes this promise of mass housing different from similar promises made by former governments, he assured that this new government is employing a proactive approach which is a departure from previous practices characterized by inefficiency and political manipulation.

“The first thing that was done was that the minister set up about four different committees and gave us eight weeks. What we had to do was to audit everything that had been done in the past and why it failed. The second thing we did was breaking it up into implementation processes. 

“There has never been in the history of this country, a situation where either the minister of housing or the MD of FHA would go to nine states in two weeks with a target as soon as we come back of meeting the rest of the states and in each of them, sitting down and having a working session with the management team, not as an individual. It has never happened. it means these are people who think, look they’ve been using housing as a means of getting money and politicking, speaking loud and saying nothing. This is unprecedented.”

He encouraged Nigerians to have some faith in the promise of the government.

“Nigerians need to start to hear that there’s something different that is happening and then see it practically on account of which the skepticism will move to a level of a glimmer of hope. And when they actually start to see the groundbreakings happening and the buildings starting to come up, then the hope will translate into tangible realities that they can hold on to.”

Melissa Enoch

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