To combat the menace of housing deficit in Nigeria and meeting up with the sustainable development goal on housing, experts at the ongoing Abuja International Housing Show have called for the establishment of a National Housing Council.
According to the experts, the national housing council would ensure that all stakeholders in the industry come to a roundtable to proffer solution to the issue of housing deficit in the country.
The President of Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Surveyor Ugochkwu Chime stated that the establishment of the council would ultimately stop the challenges in the housing sector. He state that the current confusion on who is supposed to do what and the issues with Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company would be settled.
READAN President also proposed that the council should accommodate key stakeholders in the housing sector to brainstorm on areas of concern and reach mutual benefit agreements that would move the sector forward and change the face of housing in Nigeria.
According to Chime, housing solution is a synergy between all stakeholders. He encouraged all stakeholders to come together in the industry. “Let us not work in silos, let us work together to face the challenge”.
A senior Housing finance specialist of the World Bank, Simon Walley who also lend his voice to the establishment of the National Housing Council called on the state government to be fully involved in the provision of affordable housing in their various states.
Walley commended Lagos, Ogun, Kaduna, Kano and Bauchi states for their involvement and commitment to providing affordable housing in their various states. He also revealed that the involvement of states in housing provision would ensure that they create new income stream for internally Generated Revenue, IGR for the state from real estate taxation.
While calling on Pension Fund Administrators in the country to invest their funds in real estate, he revealed that World Bank is supporting the Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company to affect its mandate.
Walley said, “To meet up with the Sustainable Development Goals on housing, 300 million new housing units must be delivered.” He said that, “if it is done right, housing will stimulate economic growth and employment”.
A former chairman of the Federal Integrated Housing Scheme FISH, Yemi Adelakun challenged government to play a leading role in making housing affordable to the people if they want the private investors and developers to make it affordable.
While saying that affordable housing creates employment, reduce corruption and curb terrorism he said that housing should be affordable for salary earners and it should be as low as 2 million Naira.