Festus Adebayo, a real estate expert, has advised the federal government to invest in housing sector which he says is the new way to shore up the economy.
Speaking with journalists on Monday, Adebayo said dividends of unclaimed pension funds should be invested in the sector.
He said investment in the real estate sector would reduce Nigeria’s unemployment rate by 50 percent.
“If the government can focus on the housing sector, unemployment rate in Nigeria will go down by at least 50 percent. Where the government will also look into the pension fund,” the expert said.
“We have been hearing of it diverted, if those monies were put in housing, we call them idle funds, there are unclaimed dividends, in that account that it is kept, who is benefiting from it. They should look into the unclaimed dividends and use it for housing.
“On every housing estate that you see there are different category of workers that you see; the professional, architect, engineers land surveyors are all there. You will also need the artisans like the carpenter. You will even see somebody that is riding Okada.
“You will also see the women selling food to the workers. Then when you look at the effect of housing on the economy, you will also discover that the effect is multiplying. What we are saying here is that housing is the new way to gear up Nigeria’s economy.”
Adebayo said the housing sector has not witnessed increase under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
“In the last three years that President Buhari government came into office, I can tell you that housing has not witnessed so much increase in terms of performance. The kind of attention we are saying is that there are laws in the national assembly that are waiting for attention,” he said.
“If these laws are not passed like the land use act which is still in the hands of the national assembly, how do we work on these laws so that the problem of access to land and mortgage can be addressed? Once we don’t address the issue of land, we can never witness an effective mortgage system in Nigeria.”
Adebayo said the Abuja Housing Show scheduled for July 16 at the International Conference Center (ICC) Abuja would bring together over 250 exhibitors from about ten countries and major players from the World Bank.
He said the event would focus on the provision of affordable housing for all Nigerians.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo is expected to declare the event open. While Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, and top government officials are expected to attend.