COMMUNIQUE’ ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 2016 AFFORDABLE HOUSING SUMMIT HELD AT CONGRESS HALL, TRANSCORP HILTON HOTEL, ABUJA, MONDAY, 27TH – TUESDAY, 28th JUNE, 2016
1.1 The Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (FMPW&H), in collaboration with German Development Corporation (GIZ) and some indigenous corporate bodies (especially real estate developers) in the housing sector organized the 2016 Affordable Housing Summit between Monday, 27th and Tuesday, 28th June, 2016 at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja. The theme of the Summit was “Developing a Blueprint for Affordable Housing Delivery in Nigeria”.
1.2 The Summit was the culmination of series of consultations amongst government and non-government stakeholders in the housing industry and is intended to generate the framework for a robust policy for affordable housing delivery in Nigeria. It attracted the participation of more than 600 persons drawn from the entire spectrum of players in the built industry and received input from several key dignitaries including the Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (FMPWH), Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN; the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita; representative of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Ambassador O. Bamgbose, the Head of SEDIN Programme of the German Development Corporation (GIZ), Mr. Torsten Schlink; President of Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Rev. Ugochukwu Chime and other notable captains of the real estate industry.
1.3 The two Day event featured strategic Round-table Discussions with the Honourable Minister, an Exhibition and illuminating Technical Sessions which centred around five (5) thematic issues/pillars namely Land; Finance; Concession and Incentives; Off-takes Strategies; and Skills and Technology Development. The all inclusive discussions were led by many distinguished presenters and panelists who clinically dissected the daunting challenges of affordable housing delivery, decried the absence of a national guiding principle on the subject matter and facilitated the generation of ingredients for a veritable blue-print for Affordable Housing in Nigeria.
During the extensive deliberations, a wide range of pertinent observations were made and the most pertinent among them are outlined below:
2.1 The rich and thought provocative presentation of the Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing in his keynote address where lots of questions hungrily demanding for answers from participants on affordable housing;
2.2 The current tempo of strong partnership exhibited between government and nongovernment stakeholders in the housing industry, especially the contribution of the private sector to the success of this 2016 Affordable Housing Summit is most commendable and deserves to be sustained;
2.3 The role to make land easily accessible for affordable housing delivery in view of the fact that the Land Use Act has put the control of Land in the hands of Government;
2.4 Some States have done fairly well in developing and implementing housing schemes, like Lagos and Enugu state;
2.5 The initiative of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to provide affordable housing to the Federal Public Servants;
2.6 The efforts of the OHCSF in mobilizing and sensitizing the public servants to access affordable housing under the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) Programme;
2.7 Federal Government intention of considering the use of promissory note as guarantee for giving out loans for housing construction to qualified private developers;
2.8 The suitability of the capital market in providing long term funding for housing development;
2.9 The global increase in urban population which puts housing markets especially in the developing countries under pressure;
2.10 The potential market for affordable housing targeted at low income earners across the world with daily accelerated market growth;
2.12 The difficulties low income earners face in rent payment and access to mortgage finance;
2.13 The uncoordinated nature of house designs and types to meet the need and requirements of the target group for affordable housing;
2.14 there is the urgent need to bridge the skills gap of artisans and establishment of certifiable level of competence;
2.15 The current nature of the built environment does not encourage sustained engagement;
At the end of deliberations, participants at the summit arrived at several recommendations, which are presented on the basis of the five thematic issues/pillars as outlined below:
- The need to agree on acceptable definition of Affordable Housing by all stakeholders in Nigeria;
- Appreciated the leadership roles of the Honourable Minister, Honourable Minister of State and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in steering the affairs of the Ministry and the Summit in particular;
- Appreciated the presence of the Honourable Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita for their brilliant presentation;
- Governments at both Federal and States levels should reduce the cumbersome process of land acquisition and land titling with a view to easing housing construction;
- Development of Sectoral Policies on affordable housing in consonance with the provisions of the various Acts and Bills on Land utilization for housing. Towards this, the summit directed that the various Bills on Land for the construction of houses in the NASS should be reviewed and finalized as soon as possible;
- Land Use Act should be retained but the State and Federal Governments should endevour to evolve necessary reforms in Land Administration by making Land Allocation to actual developers and simplifying the issue of title documents;
- Stressed the need to proffer local solutions to mortgage financing by considering generational mortgage financing where tenor could be extended beyond the original mortgagee for continuity;
- The need to maintain the single digit interest rate in mortgage loan even if it requires subsidizing for the low income earners;
- Recapitalize the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and enforcement of the National Housing Fund (NHF) contribution as enshrined in the enabling Act;
- The need for PENCOM to invest a sizeable part of the pension funds, dormant assets of banks and unclaimed dividends in Primary Mortgage Products;
- The need to put in place the appropriate construction financing schemes including funding sources for multilateral schemes;
- Urged Stakeholders to join the Ministry in liaising with the National Assembly to fast-track the amendment of the relevant laws already submitted such as foreclosure, mortgage, insurance laws etc;
CONCESSIONS AND INCENTIVES
- The need to introduce tax exemption to developers who build and provide infrastructure at Affordable Housing sites;
- The need for Nigerians to patronize made in Nigeria goods most especially fittings for houses. Also, made in Nigeria fittings should be given incentives to make them affordable;
- The need to reduce the rate of land registration, stamp duties, professional fees of Valuers and Surveyors and Lawyers thereby reducing the cost of housing (creating the enabling environment for investment);
STRATEGIC FOCUS ON OFF – TAKERS
- The need to target Cooperative societies as group Off-takers for affordable housing;
- The need to evolve an implementation strategy that involves all stakeholders, from builders, developers, mortgage bankers, construction financiers, end users and the Government;
- All Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies should be mobilized to participate and take full advantage of the FISH Programme championed by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation;
- Urged Governments at all levels to create special housing solutions to certain categories of people such as hostels for the youth, old people’s homes, housing for widows and Persons Living with HIV/AIDs, and People With Disability;
- Create and develop new towns and urban regeneration where new houses can be built;
- Federal Government to look into leasing out through Public Private Partnership of its properties that have remained unoccupied for years particularly in Lagos;
- Federal Government to consider adopting the successful Cooperative Intensive Home Ownership Scheme of Lagos State;
SKILLS DEVELOPMENT AND TECHNOLOGY
- Mainstreaming energy efficiency measures into the National Building Code through the production of Practice Notes, Planning Standards, Rules and Regulations for the various skills in the built environment;
- Development of a road map for housing development towards reducing the current housing deficit and also making the environment friendly;
- Establish new technologies suitable to our climate and culture for affordable housing construction;
- Establishing at least 6 housing designs/standards for construction of affordable housing;
- Revive, expand, upgrade and equip trade schools for skills development.
- Development of standard curriculum that will address the existing capacity gaps in skills in line with best practices;
- Collaboration with local and foreign partners to build capacity of artisans/craftsmen in the built industry; and
- Develop a strategy to attract higher school graduates to take up trade practices and employment towards adoption of enhanced technology to improve building processes to create jobs.
4.0 DEFINITION OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING
The term ‘Affordable Housing’ in the Nigerian context was defined by different speakers from various perspectives. Some of these definitions were as stated below:
4.1.1 “Affordable Housing”, from the off taker-driven perspective, is the Home Ownership Capacity of an Average Nigerian Citizen: to Build, Buy, or Rent, a Cost-effective House; based on spending a Total amount, inclusive of all related costs, of not more than 1/3 (One-third) of the individual’s take home Pay, calculated on an installment Monthly or Annual basis, up to the Average Working Age limit of 60 years”
-Dr. Joshua Egbagbe,
4.1.2 “Affordable housing is housing that a person or group can pay for with or without government assistance and according to the present and future socio-economic circumstances of the person or group in question”.
-Prof. Layi Egunjobi
4.1.3 “Affordable Housing is the provision of accessible and subsidized housing solutions on a SUSTAINABLE basis through END-USERS driven initiatives”.
-Brig. Gen. PMO Reis
4.1.4 “Affordable housing is a house with some incentives, flexibility that allows a citizen own a house without stress”.
-Kabiru Sani Abdulallahi
4.1.5 “Affordable housing is housing that is accessible, appropriate, and secure, for the needs of the low and moderate income households, and is priced so that these households are also able to meet their other basic living costs like health, education, feeding etc. This is usually estimated at about 30% (or 1/3) of Gross household income”
-Centre for Affordable Housing and UN-Habitat
4.1.6 “Affordable housing, it depends”
4.1.7 “Affordable Housing is the type of housing that is within the reach of 70% of low income earners and 40% of middle income earners”
- Festus Adebayo , Abuja Housing Show
4.2 The consensus from these definitions revealed that there is no one-size-fit all definition for Affordable housing. The indices that should be used for defining Affordable housing should include Segregation, Stratification, Classes of people and their income bracket, not more than one-third net household income of the target group, not individual income alone and equity contribution of end-users.
The Summit agreed that the journey of repositioning the Housing Sector as one of the key drivers of National Development had greatly progressed and confident that with the cooperation and support of all stakeholders, the sector will be re-energized to fulfill the aspirations of the Nigerian people.
DONE AT ABUJA, TODAY,
TUESDAY, 28TH JUNE, 2O16