WorldStage Newsonline—As the 2017 World Habitat Day is marked around the world, the United Nations Habitat has projected that the number of Africans living in slums will rise to 1.2 billion by 2050.
Delivering a goodwill message at the celebration of the 2017 World Habitat Day by the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, the United Nations Habitat Programme Manager for Nigeria, Malam Kabir Yari said over 60 percent of the urban population in Nigeria live in an informal settlements mostly without adequate basic urban services including water and sanitation.
According to him, a research commissioned by the UN Habitat in 2016 found that with the exception of informal housing for low and high income cities, all other housing types in the market were unaffordable and that public housing was not affordable in any city regardless of GDP per capita.
"Affordable housing is a universal challenge. It is estimated that the global housing affordability gap is equivalent to $650 billion per year or one percent of global GDP. While many houses are constructed annually, there are not enough affordable homes, particularly for the low income earners in most cities," he said.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode said that this year's theme of the World Habitat Day, Housing policies: Affordable homes' the United Nations is calling the attention of governments around the world to the need to provide housing within the reach of the common man.
Ambode said his administration promise to make life more comfortable for the people was made keeping in mind the need to provide decent and affordable housing for all.
Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Tpl Anifowoshe Abiola, said that the governor was passionate about the celebration of the World Habitat Day because the environment, physical planning and other related matters critical to the improvement, preservation and better living conditions of the people are among governance issues that the governor has endeared himself to most.
"Making housing available and within the reach of the common man is one of most critical issues in the socio-economic well-being of the people. This observation has made it a compelling need therefore to source for the best resource persons to discuss this year's theme," he said.