with Rev Canon Echi Nwogu
The Abuja economy is an aberration in Nigeria. It has been caused more by the cesspool of corruption that funnels much of our commonwealth from public funds into the pockets of a select few doing the wheeling and dealing in our federal capital of nation under development. The property mania and unearthly high cost of rents is nothing more than a reflection of a created false economy fueled by easy money that comes from the system of greed and corruption. The jumbo salaries and allowances of the NASS members cannot be exonerated from the unholy spike.
Abuja was designed wrongly as a city for the rich without room for the lower class of people who were to serve the city. So the City houses the high and mighty and the others find their abode long distances from where they suffer to commute from outside the cities in slums and make shift low class housings that are the targets of bulldozers again and again.
The question remains, where did the city design provide for the affordable housing for the lower class who do not have access to the lootings and corrupt enrichment from the millions and billions and trillions meandering away into personal pockets in the Abuja conundrum?
The Abuja rents are not comparable to anywhere in the nation, not even Lagos Lekki, VL Magago or Ikeja GRA nor of Port Harcourt.
The Abuja property market needs to crash before common sense will force down a reality to both the developers and the crazy persons who pay millions for annual rents that will build them mansions in 2 or 3 years in their villages.
My suggestions are these. First bring back sanity into the Lawmakers greed and jumbo salaries and allowances they award themselves regularly without reference to the national economy or the national minimum wage that cannot even take any low class worker home. There is no justification for the high largesse these our legislators from Jupiter give to themselves or the weight they throw about in Abuja blackmailing and carting away all the job opportunities and contracts coming out of the federal and state systems as well as the multinationals and private establishments the unleash their PAs who scout out openings and report to them to press the buttons to have those openings diverted to their interests. This is the highest form of corruption abuse of office.
Second, the policies of land allocations and land rates must crash so that land can be with reach of more and developers investments can be reasonable. Political entrepreneurship is due here. That is policy makers seeing their place and role in housing delivery as not that of making money for themselves but creating an friendly enabling environment that encourages property development by individuals and developers to thrive.
Thirdly, I propose the formal invitation of the Chinese and the South Koreans to boldly come into the Nigerian mass housing delivery market either on a BOT or PPP basis with Nigeria private enterprise. I will suggest that as much as possible, the putrid hands of government should be kept away from the ventures to remove the corruption index in the eventual equations that work out. These Chinese and South Koreans can quickly raise modern high rise apartments like they have for the new villages that today house their farmers and factory workers in villages and cities.
A bold out of the box intervention is what we need to national and, more specifically, the Abuja mass housing jinx.