Fatimat Haliru —
Founder of real estate firm, Lifecard International Investment, Grace Ofure Ibhakhomu last weekend at the firm’s end of the year 2022 conference, called for collaborative efforts which she said is necessary in solving the housing deficit challenge facing the Nigerian state.
Worried by the rising housing deficit in the country and the urgent need to address this development, Ibhakhomu, whose company provides access to affordable property ownership options for the middle and upper class, spoke on opportunities and challenges bedeviling Nigeria’s housing development, and noted that a collaborative approach is necessary for solving Nigeria’s housing deficit.
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“Nigeria now stands at the precipice of an impending housing crisis, she said.
“With an ever growing population, an economic downturn, and insufficient government intervention programmes in the housing sector, the most populous black nation on earth must prepare for the future.
“In 2012, Nigeria had a housing deficit of about 17 million. Today, the national housing deficit has risen to a whopping 28 million. These houses must be built to meet our national needs; otherwise, we’re looking at a major housing meltdown with even more dire economic implications.
The event also had in attendance the presidential aspirant of Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, who acknowledged the existing gulf in the provision of affordable housing for the Nigerian populace.
“We are aware that our existing national infrastructures are decrepit and crumbling, Obi said.
“We are housing challenged. We have as a nation, been inconsistent in our infrastructural planning and funding.
“This is an area we must tackle urgently, we need to build 20 million houses. Perhaps the big question is, where and how do you tackle a challenge so great?
‘We cannot easily fathom the financial implications of such projections. Without a cohesive, integrated and cooperative approach between all stakeholders, meeting Nigeria’s housing need is a near impossible.
“Government must continue to promote subvention programmes for real estate development and homeownership and create required legislation to regulate and preserve efficient housing and infrastructure development across every sector and area of need.
“To ensure continuity and sustainability of these initiatives, the government must transition from a politically tenured programme to a national housing strategy that employs the two critical variables of vision and commitment. By doing this, real estate initiatives by the government will enjoy continued patronage and growth in its lifetime”.