Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has commended his Gombe State counterpart, Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya, for taking steps to address the housing deficit in the state.
El-Rufai made the commendation in Gombe on Saturday in an interview with the newsmen, shortly after inaugurating the construction of 550 housing units.
“The steps taken by Gombe government is the right one, which is to partner with other private sector to build housing.
“But the problem of housing deficit will never be addressed until we have a national mortgage system in the country.
“This is because, people cannot afford to buy houses with huge amount of money at a go, nobody does that anywhere in the civilised world.
“Therefore, we must find a way to design a system that enable one to buy houses and pay over 25 years at a very low rate of interest,” he explained.
He said the incoming administration of Sen. Bola Tinubu had already promised to come up with a national mortgage system with single digit interest repayment in 15 to 20 years.
“But for now, the only way to reduce the housing deficit, which currently stands at 18 million, is through partnership with investors,” he said.
Earlier, Gov. Inuwa Yahaya said the the provisions of quality and affordable housing was one of the major tenets of his administration.
He said Gombe State, like several other states in Nigeria, continue to suffer from widening housing deficit because the provision of affordable housing could not keep pace with population growth and rapid urbanisation.
“We have witnessed rapid transformation as well as the influx of Internally Displaced Persons fleeing the Boko Haram insurgency, leading to accelerated demand for housing social infrastructure and debit services,” he noted.
Yahaya said the housing unit marked the commencement of another phase of massive infrastructural development in the state.
“The Shongo gardens layout is an important step that will see to the actualisation of the state special development zone, which will be the first of its kind where critical infrastructure such as roads, water, sanitation and other vital public services will be provided.
“Our goal is to create a habitable environment for Gombe residents while at the same time attracting investors and developers,” he added.
The governor said they were aware of the challenges facing the implementation of urban development reforms in their communities.
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“Our administration will not condone any act of sabotage, distortion or encroachment on the new layout,” he warned.
Yahaya said he had instructed all relevant authorities, especially the Gombe Geographic Information System, Gombe State Urban Development Authority and the Ministry of Land and Survey, to monitor development activities in the area with the view to ensuring development control compliance.
“When completed, it will provide affordable housing to civil servants and residents of the state,” he assured.