The Managing Director of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Gbenga Ashafa, has disclosed that the authority needs a minimum of N500 billion to significantly reduce the number of homeless individuals in the country.
This revelation was made during a press briefing held in Abuja ahead of the 50th anniversary of the housing authority.
Established through a legal instrument known as decree No. 40 of 1973, revised as CAP 136 Laws of the Federation 1990 and now CAP F14 Laws of the Federation 2004, FHA is mandated to execute housing programmes approved on behalf of the Government.
During the briefing, Ashafa highlighted the critical role of the housing sector in the economy.
He mentioned that the authority has successfully built approximately 149,000 housing units over the course of its 50 years of existence.
He stressed the significant contribution FHA has made to housing, providing 49,000 units through direct construction and an additional 100,000 units through partnerships with private developers.
Ashafa recalled the agency’s achievements before the directive that initially mandated full privatization was later changed to partial commercialization.
He referenced notable projects such as Diamond Estate, Festac Town, Abesan estates, and others in Ogun State.
These initiatives were made possible with substantial funds and resulted in the construction of 49,000 houses directly by FHA, along with over 100,000 units through collaborations with private developers.
Expressing concerns about the amendment of its act, which changed its operations from a wholly government-owned agency to a partially funded institution, Ashafa stressed that the authority has played a crucial role in making housing more affordable for Nigerians.
He highlighted the need for an amendment to the act to enable the agency’s inclusion in the federal government’s budget.
Ashafa indicated that a minimum of £500 billion would be required to kickstart new projects and address the existing housing deficit.
Ashafa also discussed the commitment of the agency to expand access to its rent-to-own scheme, aiming to reduce homelessness in Nigeria.
He noted that the agency is starting with this initiative to make significant improvements during the current administration.
The upcoming 50th-anniversary event is expected to be attended by prominent figures, including President Bola Tinubu, Minister of Housing and Urban Development Ahmed Dangiwa, Minister of State Abdullahi Gwarzo, and former Minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola, who will deliver the keynote address.