The President,Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Emmanuel Okas Wike, has disclosed that plans were ongoing to carry out enumeration of wasting and abandoned properties across the country.
Wike, who spoke recently in Abuja during a courtesy call on the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, said most of the abandoned houses belonged to government at various levels.
He said the institute upon the completion of the enumeration exercise would make recommendations on what could be done with them.
Wike, however, corroborated the assertion of the minister that Nigeria did not have a 17million housing deficit, stating that the figure which had been bandied in the country for a long time had no scientific proof.
“We are in total agreement with you on the unreliability of the 17million housing deficit being brandished in Nigeria for lacking scientific proof. We are using this opportunity to reaffirm the importance of data bank and our commitment to the provision of property data bank for all state capitals and major cities in Nigeria”, he said.
Fashola, who expressed delight over the endorsement by NIESV of the non-existence of the 17 million housing deficit in Nigeria, said the development had put an authoritative seal on the controversy and charged the institute to come up with accurate data on the housing issue.
The minister, who added that the data would help towards solving the housing problem, said: “there is more demand in housing due to people that move from rural areas to urban centres to squat in the city, and when demand exceeds supply there will be scarcity. The solution lay in having accurate data of empty houses in the city”.
On the Land Use Act, the minister said, “The law is not the problem, it is not enough to say repeal the law, the communities fighting over land resulted in enacting the Land Use Act. Every section of the Land Use Act has been interpreted by the Supreme Court. Administration of the law is the problem rather than the law itself.”