Naomi Gabriel —
Lack of access to construction finance by private developers is a major factor militating against the realization of affordable housing delivery in the country, according to housing stakeholders at a Housing Investment Forum in Abuja.
The stakeholders while noting that the proposed national housing bond is critical to provide cheaper financing and expand existing portfolio of assets as well as create jobs in the sector, added that the proposed bond by the federal government will accord the sector the prominence it deserves in addressing mass houses issues.
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Also, the country’s Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who said that improving housing financing will bring about quality, reliable and sustainable real estate, stated that the problem facing the sector has not been solved in any part of the world, and urged developers, mortgage institutions and other key players to set achievable targets for government.
In addition, Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance and National Planning, represented by the Managing Director of Family Homes Funds Limited, Femi Adewole, said that Nigeria is challenged by inadequate housing supply to meet its teeming population growth, particularly for low-income earners.
“Pricewater House Copper study indicated that 75 per cent (31.627 million) of the 42 million housing units in Nigeria are substandard, she said
“This low quality housing does not meet the conditions of habitability, safety and security, comfort, sanitation, accessibility, infrastructure, social amenities and socio-cultural adequacy by the United Nations and WHO.
“All existing housing initiatives should be harmonised, the cost of construction of houses is high, making it difficult to provide homes for low-income groups, adding that the bond will develop the housing finance system and capital market.
She further explained that a social intervention programme with N500 billion capitalisation to improve the quality of life for vulnerable groups, which is being run by the Family Homes Funds, has been set up.
Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Ahmed Dangiwa said that the most critical of the challenges in housing delivery is finance, adding that it demands reappraisal to create sustainable funding sources.
“We were faced with a number of challenges, during the issuance of a N100 billion mortgage backed bond for acquisition of government houses allocated to the civil servants as a result of the monetization policy in 2007, which we surmounted”, Dangiwa said.