The Federal Government says it will undertake enumeration of empty houses nationwide as part of the measures to address the housing deficit.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola said this while answering questions during a town hall meeting in Abuja on Saturday.
According to him, the ministry has called on the National Population Commission to help it in undertaking the task, while conducting the national population census.
“Last week or two weeks ago, I called on the National Population Commission that as they are about to embark on the census in the country, they should assist us in collecting data, about Nigeria’s housing needs.
“What kind of houses that they find in households whether it is owned or rented. If it is rented do, they want to buy or do they want to rent, let us build a body of data under the census exercise.
“Because we will be enumerating houses so that we can have a more precise need of Nigerians. I have copied that letter to collaborative ministries including planning and budget.
“So I hope that they will help us in the next census exercise,’’ Fashola said.
Fashola said he was also engaging some consultants in his ministry to do a sampling of data on empty houses.
He said this would be done to address concerns about the access to housing “we also see a lot of empty houses unoccupied, how many they are and why they are empty.”?
Speaking on workers benefiting from the National Housing Scheme, Fashola said an agreement had been reached with labour to allocate 10 per cent of the houses to workers.
“We have an agreement with the unions that 10 per cent of the National Housing project will be for them, but for them to do so, they still have to go to the housing portal.
“Because we have created a portal on the web, people who are interested in acquiring the national housing programme in the 34 states, go to the ministry’s website.
“You have the national housing portal there, download the form, you have to fill a form, show your ID card, show that you are a taxpayer and process the form online.
“We have eliminated the process where people are selling form with human interference.’’
The minister said they have a lot of issues surrounding the housing sector hence the portal had helped in reducing such issues and unnecessary accusations by members of the public about the sale of forms.
He said that the ministry was also collaborating with the Head of Service under the FISH programme where workers contribute to the national housing fund for home renovation projects under the federal mortgage bank policy.
According to him, this is also a way to ensure that workers get access to the national housing programme thereby reducing further the housing deficit.