Peter Obi Delivers Key-points On ‘Housing and Design Excellence for National Development; Lists Areas To Tackle Urgently

The presidential flag bearer of the Labour Party, in the 2023 General Election, Mr. Peter Obi has disclosed that Nigeria must build 28 million houses to meet its national needs.

Mr. Obi stated this Friday while delivering a lecture on ‘Housing and Design Excellence For National Development’ to the Nigeria Institute of Architects, Calabar.

He emphasized that good governance and a prosperous and stable economy are routinely anchored on the sectoral and holistic pursuit of efficiency while arguing that Nigeria must aspire to put in place a leadership that is imbued with competence, capacity, credibility, and commitment.

His presentation read in part:

“As you know we now stand at a juncture where 28 million houses must be built to meet our national needs. This will cost us an estimated 60 trillion.

“We will need to partner with you. Our role will be to create the enabling environment via the right of making laws; regulating and preserving property; employing the force of the community; and the public good.

“But before harping on these points, I must delve into two critical variables – vision and commitment. What is grossly missing in Nigeria’s leadership, governance and the economic realm is the lack of Efficiency.

“Good governance and a prosperous and stable economy are routinely anchored on the sectoral and holistic pursuit of efficiency. More fundamentally, we must aspire to put in place a leadership that is imbued with competence, capacity, credibility, and commitment.

“These 4 Cs, are leadership competencies required to turn Nigeria around. We will pursue intangible assets of good governance, rule of law, and security of lives and properties. For this to happen there must be elite consensus on critical national interest questions.

“We are aware that our existing national infrastructures are decrepit and crumbling. We are housing-challenged. We have as a nation been inconsistent in our infrastructural planning and funding. This is an area we must tackle urgently.

“We must start by rethinking the fundamentals of our nationhood and how to collectively unite and secure Nigeria and move it from good to great. Good governance simply translates to eight critical governance values, namely; a government being Accountable, Transparent, Responsive Equitable Inclusive, Effective, and Efficient; and adhering to the rule of law, as well as participatory and consensus-oriented governance. The Obi-Datti administration, from its inception, will continue to encourage investment in infrastructure—housing, energy, transport, irrigation, and telecoms—to grow these and other sectors. We are eager to quickly close the infrastructure gap between now and 2030. That is the Nigeria we want in place by the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target year.

Mr. Peter Obi further averred that Nigeria will lead African countries via the leverage of more private funds to meet its continent’s infrastructure financing needs, estimated to be between $68 billion and $108 billion annually.

He said that the current earnings from oil should be used to invest in critical physical and human infrastructure including housing while intensifying domestic resource mobilization for recurrent expenditure.

According to Obi, charity begins at home.

“We will diversify the funding for our national surface transportation system (Roads, rail, bridges, and mass transit) and programs with the creation of the Highway Trust Fund Accounts.
“We will promulgate legislation mandating the Federal Government to build and construct new federal highways and bridges, but States will have the responsibility of maintaining federal highways traversing their respective territories with allocated federal subventions calculated on a mileage/kilometer basis. In contemplating “Housing and Design Excellence for National Development” we must bear the following in mind:

“We must think of demographic in our designs; Design and build for the public good; Our buildings must be accessible to People with disabilities; Our buildings must reflect our culture and heritage.

“We must manage to fund for building; Give primacy to maintenance culture, and NIA must protect its institutional integrity.

“I wish to state that while Nigeria’s Housing and Design situation is critical; it is not yet hopeless. That might be a cliché, but that is the reality. The task at hand is to remain focused on nation-building priorities.”


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