The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) and the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, have agreed on the need for an accurate data bank for housing in the country.
The Director of Press and Public Relations, Mrs Boade Akinola, said this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
Akinola said that President of NIESV, Mr Emmanuel Wike, made the assertion when he led a delegation from the institution on a courtesy visit to the minister in Abuja.
The NIESV also corroborated the assertion of the minister that “Nigeria does not have a 17 million housing deficit.”
The NIESV president said the body was in full agreement with the minister on the fact that the figure which had been brandished in the country for a long time had no scientific proof.
“We are in total agreement with you on the unreliability of the 17 million housing deficit being brandished in Nigeria for lacking scientific proof.
“We are using this opportunity to reaffirm the importance of data bank and our commitment to the provision of a property data bank for all state capitals and major cities in Nigeria,” he said.
He disclosed that plans were ongoing to carry out enumeration of wasting and abandoned properties across the state capitals, most of which, according to him, belonged to the government at various levels.
He said the Institute would then make recommendations on what could be done with them.
Responding, Fashola said there was more demand in housing due to people that move from rural areas to urban centres to squat in the city, and when demand exceeds supply there would be scarcity.
Fashola said that the solution to this laid in the availability of accurate data of empty houses in the cities.
The minister, who expressed delight at the endorsement by NIESV on the non-existence of the 17 million housing deficit in Nigeria, put an authoritative seal on the controversy.
He urged the Institute to come up with accurate data on the housing issue adding that such data would help towards solving the housing problem.
While commenting on the Land Use Act, the minister said, “The law is not the problem, it is not enough to say repeal the law, the communities fighting over land resulted in enacting the Land Use Act.
“Every section of the Land Use Act has been interpreted by the Supreme Court. Administration of the law is the problem rather than the law itself, ” the statement said.(NAN)