Presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore, has condemned the prevalent state of uninhabited houses overtaken by cockroaches and lizards while Nigeria suffers from a deficit of 17 million home for its homeless population.
He made the rebuke while speaking at a town hall meeting on Housing for Presidential candidates organized by the University of Lagos on Saturday.
Asked whether he would privatize public housing infrastructure currently not in use, Sowore said: “I will not give anymore of our public properties to private individuals. What I’m going to do is to take inventory of all uninhabited public properties in Nigeria.
“The ones that can be converted into hospitals will be converted into hospitals, the ones that can be converted to houses will be converted to houses and given to workers, our federal workers. I want to turn the secretariat in Lagos to a hospital.”
Blaming the housing crisis in Nigeria on failed leadership, Sowore described the Nigerian government as wasteful.
"If we do not reclaim these properties for the Nigerian people, they will end up in the hands of our ministers, political leaders and thieves," he said. "The Nigerian property should be used by the Nigerian people and this is what I will do when I am elected."
Drawing parallels with former third-world countries who overcame the housing problem, Sowore said: “China planned ahead and built houses that we now call ghost apartments, Japan did it and so did Singapore. Do not vote in leaders who took the roof over your heads, they have no intention to put it back now.”
The event, organised by the University of Lagos on the state of the Nigerian Housing Market, was attended by presidential candidates of five political parties, including former Minister of Education by Ezekwesili and former Central Bank Of Nigeria Governor, Kingsley Moghalu.