Sam Oluwalana, Ibadan
The country needs an accurate National Housing Data Base in order to develop and enhance its social and economic development and move forward in the provision of housing needs of the people.
ESV Chika Okafor, Housing Faculty Chairman said this at the Interactive Forum on National Housing Audit/Data Collection held at Premier Hotel Ibadan on Thursday, by the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers.
“This first ever interactive Forum is aimed at developing a uniform professional approach to National Housing Audit/ Data Collection.
“This is necessary in order to develop a formidable National Housing Data Base for social and economic development of our country,” he said.
Okafor , who commended the Management Council under the leadership of ESV Bolarinwa Joshua Patunola-Ajayi for their innovative ideas, said that the product of the gathering will further demonstrate the professional competence and authority of the faculty on all issues of housing in the country.
Mr Chibuike Emele, a Lecturer from Housing Faculty, University of Lagos who delivered a discussion paper at the forum said that welfare and health indices have direct relationship with the type and quality of housing.
He said further that the problem of humanity can be reduced to the barest minimum if the housing question is appropriately resolved in terms of quantity, type, quality and geographical spread.
He, however, said that this require information and data on the current situation of the housing problems in order to accurately define the problem both in quantitative and qualitative terms.
“Thus, data collection or in order words, a national housing deficit is the starting point. This brings us to the question of housing deficit or shortage.
“How did we arrive at the 17 million housing deficit in Nigeria in the absence of a national housing survey and at what time was a national survey carried out to determine the housing deficit?
“Is housing deficit only in the cities and urbane centres? What about the rural communities? ’’ he said.
He said that the importance of a national housing data collection or survey cannot be over emphasized and completely exhausted because it has both direct and indirect significance with several links within the every sector of the economy, thus creating values along the chain.
“Among the importance of housing survey are; it aids policy formulation by government, provides update information about the type, quantity, quality and composition of national housing situation
and it also reveals the adequacy and annual housing needs,” he said.
He said that the survey shows housing tenure and the number or per centage of owner occupied houses as well as rented housing including the distribution of households and their occupation so as to properly estimate the housing gap or deficit.
Professor Gbenga Nubi , a discussant at the forum while speaking on the absence of an accurate national housing data, said that Nigeria is not being governed based on facts but on fallacies.
He said it was this that made the country to duel on the fact that she has 17million housing deficit, while emphasizing the fact that we need accurate data on housing.
“We really need to work based on facts and figures. The sanctity and relevance of information cannot be over emphasized if must move forward in terms of housing provisions,” he said.
He, however, said that if things are done properly, real estate could be used to take Nigeria out of the current recession, while urging members of the council to be stead fast in the responsibility.
ESV.Murbi Adi, a property consultant said that Nigeria and Nigerians need affordable houses and not duplexes.