FG to tackle housing deficit data challenge

The minister of housing and urban development, Ahmed Dangiwa, says the ministry is collaborating with the National Population Commission (NPC) to produce verifiable and credible data on the actual number of Nigeria’s housing deficit.

Mr Dangiwa disclosed this at a meeting with a delegation of NPC led by its chairman, Nasir Kwarra and some commissioners on Monday in Abuja.

Speaking at the meeting, he said the objective was to address one of Nigeria’s most pressing data challenges of accurately determining the extent of the housing deficit in the country.

“For years, our nation has grappled with conflicting and unsubstantiated figures regarding this crisis. The range of estimates, varying from 17 million to 28 million, has not only been a source of embarrassment but also a hindrance to effective policy-making and strategic planning,” stated Mr Dangiwa.

The minister added, “I believe it is time to change this narrative and take coordinated action to bring clarity and credibility to our understanding of the housing deficit and the state of housing in Nigeria. We must work to establish accurate, credible, verifiable and scientifically sound data on the housing deficit and living conditions of homes that Nigerians live in nationwide.”

Mr Dangiwa further said it was only through a thorough understanding of the housing deficit that Nigeria could devise effective strategies to address the housing shortage.

He added that the ministry’s collaboration with NPC was a critical step, explaining that the next national census was a timely exercise that would provide an invaluable opportunity to gather precise data on citizens’ housing needs.

Mr Dangiwa emphasised that the housing deficit was not solely about the quantity of structures but also the quality of living conditions.

“Adequate housing, coupled with proper living conditions, is a fundamental human right that underpins social stability and economic development. There is a plan of creating the National Social Housing Fund to cater for the underprivileged in society, and this can only be achieved with veritable data of housing without essential sanitary conditions,” he said.

NPC chair said the commission was ready to conduct the census with digitalised tools.

Explaining how prepared NP is to conduct the census, Mr Kwarra said the commission had counted 55,495,871 estimated households in the country. Mr Kwarra said NPC had assisted the Nigerian Postal Service in providing the base data for postcodes for addressing houses and assisted the Surveyor General’s office in data for geo-spacial mapping.

“The importance of data in national development cannot be overemphasised. The contemporary world does not just look at data, but the emphasis is on georeferenced data, which are data sets with reference to the geography of a nation,” Mr Kwarra said.


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