Despite the influx of developers with attendant construction of houses across the country, Nigeria’s housing deficit has reportedly increased by as much as 300 percent in the last 22 years. The situation is made worse by thousands of unoccupied properties in many parts of the country, thereby leading to overcrowding in some areas as well as obsolete infrastructure dotting the landscape.
Although housing challenge has been a major problem to the citizens over the years, a source at the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, however, said the 28 million figure was inaccurate. Findings by New Telegraph revealed that despite rising costs, which got worse by the last quarter of 2022, recent GDP figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show that both construction and real estate contributed an additional N8. 9 trillion to the GDP in Q4’22.
Giving an insight into the deficit during a seminar yesterday in Lagos, the Chief Executive, Pension Operators Association of Nigeria (PenOp), Mr. Agudah Oguche, said Nigerians workers now had the opportunity to own houses with the new mortgage policy in the revised Pension Reform Act 2014.
He said the Act had made it possible for Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) to acquire their own homes with 25 percent of their pension. According to him, “Nigerian housing deficit grew from seven million in 1991 to 28 million in 2023, leading to overcrowding and obsolete housing infrastructure.
“In 2014, the PRA was amended to allow contributors access 25 percent of their RSA balance as down payment to mortgage.: To fill the deficit, governments at all levels and individuals have created avenues to ensure a larger population of Nigerians are properly housed.
Last year, for instance, the National Pension Commission (PenCom) approved the issuance and immediate implementation of guidelines on accessing RSA balance for payment of equity contribution for residential mortgages by RSA holders.
According to PenCom, the approval was in line with Section 89 (2) of the Pension Reform Act 2014 (PRA 2014), which allows RSA holders to use a portion of their RSA balance towards the payment of equity for a residential mortgage.
The guidelines cover pension contributors in active employment, either as a salaried employee or as self-employed people. Oguche recalled that Nigeria had the lowest home ownership rates in the world estimated at nine percent of the population, stressing that there were no standard/natural home ownership models in Nigeria like Singapore and USA.”
An analysis of institutional acquisitions and disposals in real estate investment valued at $1.8 billion across Africa in the past two de- cades revealed that Nigeria had the largest real estate investments by country.