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Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Cities: It’s housing and more

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By Abdulaziz Abdulaziz

 

Penultimate Thursday at Karsana, a suburb of Abuja, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu performed the groundbreaking ceremony of the pilot phase of his ambitious housing project tagged Renewed Hope Cities and Estates Development Programme. Under the first phase of the scheme, 50,000 units of houses are planned to be delivered to Nigerians across the 36 states and the FCT by the end of 2024. Aside the site for the 3,112 which is opened, similar construction sites are active in 12 states around the nation. Subsequently more sites will be activated for the simultaneous mass housing project across the country.

The intention, as the President himself said at the groundbreaking ceremony, is to turn Nigeria into a large construction site with the attendant massive job creation and wealth redistribution. This ambitious project would certainly place the Tinubu administration in a prime spot when the history of mass housing in Nigeria is written.

Formal intervention in the housing sector in Nigeria has a long history dating back to the outbreak of the bubonic plaque in Lagos in 1928.Moving forward, the entire official development plan documents in Nigeria, including the four National Development Plans (1962-1984), had recognized the need for increasing the housing stock in Nigeria, as well as, the need for affordable houses. Despite the work at the policy level, Nigeria has continued to face a significant housing deficit, with millions of its citizens lacking adequate and affordable housing. By 2018 the housing deficit was estimated to be about 17-20 million units. While this deficit poses serious social problem, it also hampers economic development and gets complicated with every passing day (read, every birth!).

All You Need To Know About The Renewed Hope Cities And Estates

It is with this realisation that the then APC candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu laid out his vision for the mortgage and housing sector in his elaborate campaign manifesto. The concept is hinged on his longstanding understanding of the economic development and social justice nexus of housing development.

President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope City housing projects offers a tangible step at building dynamic, integrated, and self-sustaining communities, equipped with amenities to enhance the quality of living for residents, especially the targeted low-income earners.

Speaking on the determination of his administration to ensure that Nigeria’s housing deficit is bridged, the President said he is determined to face the housing challenge bedeviling the nation with the boldness and urgency that it requires.

 

“We aim to promote Public Private Partnership (PPP) collaborations that attract domestic, foreign, and diaspora investments. We also aim to design and implement incentive schemes, boost our capital market while enhancing the governance and risk management frameworks to ensure their stability, transparency and integrity.

 

“We are resolved to facing the housing challenge with the clarity of purpose and determination that is required to break all the barriers that stand in our way of success. That is why I took the historic decision of separating the Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development from Works so it can be fully aligned towards tackling the nation’s massive housing problem. That is also why I have appointed experienced professionals with proven track records of delivering in the housing sector to lead the Ministry,” President Tinubu had said

 

These low-cost urban housing projects offer a promising solution to address both the housing shortage and stimulate economic growth. While providing affordable housing options, these projects are creating jobs, enhancing living standards, and hold the potential to catalyze economic activities nationwide.

Development economists say low-cost urban housing projects have the potential to stimulate economic growth through multiple channels. Firstly, by increasing access to affordable housing, these projects enhance household welfare and disposable income. When families spend less on housing, they have more resources to allocate towards education, healthcare, and other essential needs, thereby contributing to poverty reduction and human capital development. Moreover, improved housing conditions lead to better health outcomes, reducing healthcare costs and boosting productivity.

One of the significant benefits of low-cost urban housing projects is their potential to generate employment opportunities. The construction sector is a major driver of employment and economic growth in many countries. By investing in housing projects, Nigeria can create jobs across various stages of the construction value chain, including design, engineering, manufacturing, and site management. Moreover, these projects require skilled and unskilled labor, offering employment opportunities to a diverse workforce. The multiplier effect of job creation in the construction sector extends to other industries, such as manufacturing, transportation, and retail, further stimulating economic activity. The project designers estimated that every single house will provide 25 direct and indirect jobs. So, the 20,000 housing units planned for the Federal Capital Territory alone will create 500,000 jobs.

These Renewed Hope Cities initiative present a viable strategy to address Nigeria’s housing deficit. These projects focus on providing affordable housing solutions that cater to the needs of low-income earners. By leveraging innovative construction techniques, cost-effective materials, and sustainable designs, these projects aim to deliver quality housing at affordable prices. Moreover, they will foster inclusive development, ensuring that those in the lower wrung of the social cadre, especially workers across Nigeria have access to decent housing options.

The initiative is also attracting private investment and will spur real estate development. As the demand for housing grows, developers and investors are incentivized to participate in the market, leading to increased construction activity and property transactions. This influx of investment not only creates jobs but also stimulates demand for ancillary goods and services, such as furniture, appliances, and utilities. Additionally, improved infrastructure associated with housing projects, such as roads, water supply, and sanitation facilities, enhances the overall urban environment and attracts further investment.

Closing the housing deficit in Nigeria and stimulating economic growth through the Renewed Hope City housing project is a major tick in President Tinubu’s wish list and campaign promises. But like all big ticket projects, filling the gaping hole in our housing need is a multifaceted endeavor that requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders, especially mortgage institutions and developers

President Tinubu has taken a big leap in this regard and with innovation, collaboration, sustained commitment, right policies and investments, Nigeria will unlock the full potential of low-cost urban housing projects to build a more prosperous and inclusive society.

 

Abdulaziz, Senior Special Assistant to President Tinubu on Print Media, writes from Abuja.

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