Benin - Viewpoint Housing News – Mr. Madu Hamman, the Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), at the 2023 Shelter Conference in Benin City, spoke of the significance of home ownership in the country and the benefits it accrues on human lives.
Highlighting the wider scope of impacts decent housing has on the society, he said it cuts across access to education, improved health services, physical and mental strength.
“The importance of house ownership cannot be overemphasized enough, owing to its positive impact on the welfare of the citizenry and the economic benefits accruing to both the populace and the greater development of the country at large, Madu said.
“Enumerated benefits of housing to individuals include a roof over their heads, facilitating access to education and health services, and improving physical and mental health.”Gains to the economy comprise the creation of fixed capital, employment creation, investment and improved productivity”, the FMBN boss added.
He also spotlighted statistics that reveal Nigeria having more than 22 million persons not living in decent affordable housing, the highest number in the world.
Despite this, successive governments have made pledges to address this problem with no encouraged result to show for it. Irrespective of the expanding real estate market in the country, many are still under housed.
“In comparison, the real estate sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Nigeria is a dismal 3.0%, while mortgage depth penetration and housing loans penetration in Nigeria is less than 1% of GDP.”The implication is that the housing sector in Nigeria is poorly funded and the consequences are reflected in the chronic shortage plaguing the nation that is estimated at 22 million”, Madu said.
He highlighted that for housing to qualify as “affordable”, it must be adequate in quality and location and its cost should not deprive the owner of meeting up with other housing needs.
Mr. Madu also listed some factors he described as “bottlenecks” hindering the provision of affordable housing. They include lack of long term funds, properties approvals and title paperwork, land use act, infrastructural inadequacies and high cost of building materials.
To circumnavigate these hurdles, he said the FMBN has on its own part, acted to promote and ensure housing affordability for Nigerians by developing innovative low interest products and services that are competitive, flexible and affordable.