Housing market can unlock $1tn economy, says Dangiwa

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The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ahmed Dangiwa. CREDIT: Housing MinistryThe Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ahmed Dangiwa, has said the country’s housing market has the potential to unlock a $1tn economy.

Speaking during the groundbreaking ceremony for the 250-housing unit Renewed Hope Estate in Akwa Ibom, recently, Dangiwa emphasised that the housing sector could catalyse a $1tn economy.

The project, which is part of the Renewed Hope Cities and Estates programme launched by the President with a groundbreaking for 3,112 Renewed Hope City in Karsana, Abuja in February 2024, has further covered states like Kano, with 500-unit Renewed Hope City; and Katsina, Gombe, Yobe, and Sokoto, each with a 250-unit Renewed Hope Estate in the first round of groundbreaking.

“We plan to turn Nigeria into a huge construction site. This estate, like the others, comprises 50 units of 1-bedroom semi-detached bungalows, 150 units of 2-bedroom semi-detached bungalows, and 50 units of 3-bedroom semi-detached bungalows.

“We have designed these housing units in a way that makes them affordable for people to acquire by using organic designs to allow for future expansion as the income of beneficiaries increases.

“This means that a 1-bedroom unit can be expanded to 2 bedrooms, and a 2-bedroom unit can also be expanded to 3 bedrooms as the owner’s financial situation improves or their family grows,” Dangiwa said.

The minister underscored the huge economic benefit of housing construction, noting that it goes beyond improving the economies of local communities.

He posited, “Statistics show that the construction of one housing unit creates an average of 25 direct and indirect jobs. So, for these 250 housing units in Akwa Ibom, we hope to create jobs for over 6,500 people in various trades, from professionals like architects, civil engineers, and mechanical engineers to masons, plumbers, tilers, electricians, and labourers.

“We have seen unskilled workers at sites earning as much as N35,000 per week, at an average of N5,000 per day. This amounts to about N140,000 per month.

“This is in addition to the economic activities, including those selling food, supplying blocks, and providing building materials. The value chain effect of construction work on this site is significant and creates a positive economic impact,” the minister explained.

While he thanked the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Umo Eno, for providing the land for the project at no cost, he urged other state governors to take a cue from the 12 states so far captured under the N50bn 2023 supplementary budget.

He assured them that their states would be included in the 2024 budget of the ministry, as the ministry planned to build Renewed Hope Estates in all the states.

According to the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, the country needs an investment of over N21tn to bridge its 28 million housing deficit.

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