'Housing Corporations Suffering From Underfunding, Neglect'

By Victor Gbonegun

The famous Abraham Manslow's Hierarchy of Needs places shelter as a basic need of every human. In other words without shelter man is less bothered about social activities, self-esteem or other offerings of the society. Sadly, what should have been a basic provision has become a luxury in Nigeria. To resolve the deficit in Nigeria's housing sector, efforts to increase stocks are being curtailed by under-funding from state governments. In this interview with Victor Gbonegun, the National President of Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria (AHCN), Mohammad Baba Adamu, spoke on issues mitigating efforts to reduce the housing deficits among others

AHCN has a mandate to increase availability of residential estates in Nigeria. How much of this mandate have you achieved, do the shortage of trained artisans in housing industry affected your mandate?

Our vision at AHCN is to ensure the increase and availability of dwelling houses across the country; we have been doing this over the years. Until recently, there is no doubt that the impacts of the Association were felt in all the states of the federation with its members setting the pace for real estate development especially in the state capitals. Most developments in most of these state capitals today were orchestrated by the state housing corporations after the creation of those states. The Nigeria real estate market has been challenged by myriad of problems in the last twenty years, which has slowed down the growth of the sector in contrast with what is obtainable in developed economies. Shortages of trained and experienced artisans/masons were not the main challenges of the housing sector and these have not affected our mandate. Housing Corporations all across Nigeria, as specialized organizations responsible for mass housing provision, are equipped with qualified human resources and experienced housing professionals with potential to engage in mass housing and most of our members have provision for training of artisans/mansions to execute our projects. The Association noted and recognized the challenges and dearth of artisans/masons in the housing sector and we have taken a proactive measure to arrest these issues as we are starting a practical training programme in March to train professionals that supervises artisans/masons on site to ensure quality delivery of houses. This, we believe, will help to arrest building collapse and guarantee quality housing production in the country. Looking at the current housing shortages in the country, we may not have done enough to address the shortages but we are not resting on our oars.

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