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Social Housing Bill suffers set back in Senate

16 July 2014, 21:12

Abuja - The Social Housing Bill 2014 suffered a major setback on floor of the Senate on Tuesday when a senator noted that recommendations made by the committee for funding of the bill were unconstitutional.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Housing and Urban Planning, Bukar Abba Ibrahim (APC-Yobe), while presenting the report, said that funding for construction of the proposed houses should be sourced from the Federation Account and Ecological Fund.

Ibrahim had told the senate that the committee could not think of any other means of raising funds to ensure implementation of the bill which was to provide housing to low and medium income earners.

He said this was why the committee came back to the senate for help in getting reliable sources of funding.

Ita Enang (PDP-Akwa Ibom), however, said the recommendations were unconstitutional.

Sen. Ayogu Eze (PDP-Enugu State) suggested that since funding was becoming a major problem, there was need for the constitution to be amended to provide funding for the bill.

"The Constitution Review Committee should look into this because we need to make it in such a way that we have a constitutional way of funding this scheme.

"This is a very important bill because it seeks to provide affordable housing to low income earners, and so, we must do everything possible to give it oxygen.’’

Chris Anyanwu (APGA-Imo) also supported the proposal to amend the constitution in order to provide funding for not only the social housing bill but other important bills not implemented due to funding problem.

The Senate President, David Mark, said the bill was very important, but that there was need to evolve genuine means of raising funds to support it.

The bill was therefore stood down and referred to the committees on Constitution Review, Judiciary and National Planning for further legislative work.

The bill had scaled second reading and had been referred to the committee on Housing and Urban Planning.


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