Stakeholders in the housing sector have called on the Federal Government to regulate the construction industry to deal with the threat of vacant buildings scattered throughout the country, particularly the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Stakeholders made the call in separate interviews with the Nigerian News Agency in Abuja.
Respondents said that the problem of empty houses in the country, in particular the FCT, had become a threat even as the government struggled to mitigate the country’s housing deficit.
The experts said that one of the ways to address the issue was sectoral.
Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko, president of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) called for regulation of the sector to curb the threat of abandoned buildings.
Additionally, he said FCT management must understand that when they give construction approval, there must be a time limit for a building to be completed.
“Otherwise, they should be given a warning and after that warning, the revocation of that land”, he noted.
Wamakko said that when these steps were taken, it would help reduce the threat of vacant buildings, especially at the FCT.
According to him, the properties are not in the categories that can be rented because the people who can rent them can also afford to build their own.
“They are big properties and the owners can have five, 10 or even more and they cannot be rented and the reason for the buildings in some cases is that they are used to hide corrupt funds.
“It’s just a way to keep their money safe because when they need to, they keep selling these houses one after another.
“The poor do not have the ability to rent such houses nor would they be able to live in the high-end areas like Maitama, Asokoro and Wuse 2 where they are built.
“In the suburbs, you can’t find these empty houses. These are the main reasons why you have empty houses in Abuja.
“And in most cases, the condition of the houses deteriorates in such a way that the owners continue to maintain that they are not using them and this is a great economic loss for the country”, he stated.
Wamakko , therefore, urged the government to take action against citizens who leave their buildings, causing inconvenience to individuals and families who live in them.
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