By Onoja Johnson
In assessing and appraising the performance of the Nigerian housing sector after six decades of independence, a Housing and Urban Development expert, professor Timothy Olugbenga Nubi has acknowledged the convener of the Abuja Housing Show, Barr.Festus Adebayo, the former Lagos State Governor and Minister of Works under the Sani Abacha military regime, Lateef Jakande and host of others as individuals who have contributed mucho to the Nigerian housing sector.
The professor, however, lamented that the situation of housing in Nigeria is an “obvious failure and disservice to the nation.” The academic don made it known to African Housing News via a virtual interview that its unfortunate that graduates and even PhD holders are battling to pay house rents in today’s Nigeria. He narrated that if his grand mother who had no formal education could build three bedrooms in the village for herself, a neighbour with NCE could also build a house for himself, its no progress that today, graduates can not afford themselves rented apartments let alone owning their own houses.
According to Professor Nubi, Nigeria is evolving in the housing sector and beautiful cities have been built over the years. However, it has also succeeded in separating the poor from the rich unlike what is experienced in the western world. He said in Nigeria of today, people in their late forties or early fifties can not afford houses because they can not afford to pay the huge rent fees involved. He added that very many Nigerians still live in the slums. He revealed that the Nigeria housing scenario shows that “its not well with us.”
Nubi appraised Lateef Jakande on the provision of massive housing for Lagocians out of compassion and being a beacon of hope in housing sector. He said government functionaries have tried to avoid housing projects as they are different from projects like bore holes who do not take time to be completed. He said Jakande stands out in housing sector and the little learnt from him would equip them for better output in housing.
He celebrated Festus Adebayo for starting from scratch in 1991 to becoming a major contributor in the Nigerian Housing Sector today.
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