Nigeria’s leading housing advocacy organization, Housing Development Advocacy Network (HDAN), has stressed the significance of dialogue as a mechanism for addressing the country’s housing gap, as it sets out to engage political aspirants at both state and federal levels on housing.
Mr. Festus Adebayo, executive director of HDAN made this known in Abuja during the weekend.
He believes that a constructive discourse is essential for any country to achieve its political and economic objectives even as it relates to housing affordability and sustainability.
According to Adebayo, a panel session, scheduled to hold during the 16th edition of the AIHS at the International Conference Center, Abuja has become vital in the nation’s history for people to have a one-on-one encounter with political actors, evaluate and make appropriate decisions regarding who would lead them come 2023.
He said: “This is another political season and a very crucial moment in the history of Nigeria. It’s another time to ponder on the achievements made over the years in the area of housing. Recently, we stressed the need for all political aspirants at the state and national levels to make housing a priority in their manifestos and to also make sure they implement their promises when they’re finally elected.
“It is time for professionals in the Nigerian construction industry and professional bodies across various fields to come together and engage those who want to take over the mantle of leadership in 2023, to enlighten us on what they will do to better the housing sector. We have been talking to ourselves for a long time. It’s time to talk to those in the corridor of power, decision makers, and those in charge of policy implementation on the importance and multiplier effect of housing.”
“Many of the aspirants across party lines have zero plan for the electorates in the area of housing and this is because they don’t view it from the angle of importance.
“It is therefore critical that we drive this conversation because they are ignorant of what we are talking about. They have failed to realize that housing solves almost all human problems and creates a healthy living and environment that gives rise to a stable community and nation in general.”
He went further to say “We demand that when citizens go out to vote for candidates in an election, they should vote for the person who they are certain has the capacity to deliver affordable homes to Nigerians because that’s the basis of any developed society.”
“No advanced nation in the world fixed its housing deficit without prior planning. It’s a product of deliberate effort and an effective system. Imagine the likes of the US, UK, and China; they were deliberate about affordable housing provision and they’re reaping the dividends today.
“We must make political aspirants understand that affordable housing helps mitigate crime, improve education, cement neighborhoods and bring love into the society. We must let them know that housing is a wealthy and viable investment.”
Adebayo revealed that by the end of May 2022, all political parties would have finalized their primaries with party flag bearers announced, saying “from the first week of June, our mobilization will begin.”