The Presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore, has promised that if he is elected the president of Nigeria in the 2019 election, he would convert the abandoned Federal Secretariat in Obalende, Lagos to a hospital for the use of Nigerians.
The AAC Presidential candidate disclosed this, over the weekend, at the maiden Town Hall Meeting with Presidential Candidates on the State of Nigeria’s Housing Market organised by the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
Other presidential candidates present at the event include Dr. Oby Ezekwesili presidential candidate of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN); Kingsley Moghalu, Young Progressive Party (YPP); Fela Durotoye of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) and Isaac Ositelu, the Presidential candidate of the Accord Party (AP).
Sowore who was responding to questions on what his government will do the federal government abandoned property that littered Lagos State condemned sale of similar property in the past, saying that if elected the abandoned Federal Secretariat in Lagos will serve Nigerians for healthcare services.
Sowore, who vowed to turn Nigeria to a construction site and build homes worth $3.6 billion if elected, urged the government in Nigeria to invest in a housing project that will provide shelter for all, saying that shelter for all should be a fundamental human right.
He said: What I propose is to put aside $3.6 billion and we’ll turn this country into a construction site. We’re in need of 17 million homes; over 80 million Nigerians are without homes. We need to set the standard that an average of five Nigerians should be entitled to a house: a father, a mother, and at least three kids.”
Sowore added that if elected all illegally acquired and undervalued government property sold to organizations and individuals will be returned to Nigerians or properly re-evaluated if necessary.
In his response to the question, Ositelu, the Accord Party candidate said he would convert such property for student accommodation while Durotoye of the ANN party said his government will commercialize such property and lease to interested Nigerians to enable the government to recoup its investment.
However, it was a consensus among the presidential candidates that priority should be given to the housing sector through the creation of a separate ministry against present arrangement under the Ministry of Works, Housing and Power by the President Mohammed Buhari led administration.
In addition, the presidential candidates believed that the current Land Use Act has outlived its uses and purposes as it encourages bureaucracy, saying it had rubbed Nigerians of their land and stalled the development of the country.
According to Ezekwesili of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) the Land Use Act is a retrogressive document her government if elected will re-evaluate to give way to a more progressive document, saying that the document has not only served as a barrier to provision of decent homes but retarded desired growth of all sectors of the economy.