Many developers and contractors handling various housing projects across the country have no success stories as 2016 is on the verge of coming to an end .
The year has been full of unpleasant experiences stemming from dwindling oil revenue, devaluation of naira, foreign exchange restriction, corruption-related menace and delay in the passing of the year’s budget.
Aside the budget impediment, the N35.2 billion allocated for both housing and road construction were also left in jeopardy which since then had hindered empirical achievements.
The consistent up and down movement of the economy slowed the space of progress in the building industry as steady forex restrictions led to increase in the cost of building materials.
With the position of the economy since the beginning of the year, many Nigerians were either scared of going into housing projects or are financially incapacitated.
Active players in the built industry linked it to lower disposal income of people which negatively affected demand for property. To some extent, the role of the judicial system in facilitating transferability also hurt the sector.
The year under review saw fight against corruption in all spheres which is the flagship point of the present administration since it came on board, affected the flow of funds into real estate projects. Thus, building for commercial purposes and non-commercial recorded sluggish growth due to the war waged against corruption.
Many houses of top prominent Nigerians that are said to be connected with shady deals were sealed especially in Abuja and Lagos.This brought about fear in the business, as potential buyers withdrew their patronage in order to pave way for the storm to calm down. Because of this, many estate developers and estate agents have been experiencing trying times.
Following these sordid condition, a lot of unoccupied houses in highbrow areas of Abuja, like Maitama, Asokoro and Gwarimpa Estate among other places abound.
According to the managing Director, Eco City Housing, Daniel Usman, estates within Abuja suffer serious setback as would-be home owners showed no interest any longer because of the myriads of issues in context. He said people have resorted to wait-and-see posture.
Many Nigerians also expressed fear over the shortage of low-income houses in major urban cities while few developers concentrated their activities, or even focussed more on those that they feel can afford property. The reverse, however, is the case as they still get no attention as expected.
With the setting up of Family Home Fund by the Hon. Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun there is new hope that low income earners will be the target of the scheme as we move into 2017.
The year also saw Sun Trust Bank Ltd,Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) partnering on a N13 billion Federal Civil Servants Mortgage Refinancing Scheme to benefit 5,635 federal civil servants. The refinancing is to take off in 2017.
The Scheme according to the Honourable Minister For Finance Kemi Adeosun is a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) affordable housing initiative of the Federal Government under the management of the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board and the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) in partnership with SunTrust Bank Limited and the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company Plc. (NMRC)
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Common Services Office, Mr.Yemi Adelakun, at the launch in Abuja, noted that the initiative will improve service delivery by making Federal PublicServants incorruptible, citizen centred and service compact.
In his reaction, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, NMRC, Prof. Charles Inyangete said out of about 400m deficit of the global housing need, Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya and Republic of South Africa account for about twenty five million units (25m) hence the need to confront the issue with value chain approach.
Shedding more light on the scheme, the Executive Secretary, Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board, Dr (Mrs.) Hannatu Adamu Fika noted that, the Board has provided the security needed for the release of the N13b naira which was the active loan facilities owed the Board by various beneficiaries of the revolving loans scheme totalling five thousand, Six hundred and thirty five.
On the activities of Federal Mortgage Bank in 2016, we can report that the Acting Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) Richard Esin has been making relentless efforts to put FMBN on the right path. The bank for the time in six years recorded a profit of N452million. The management of the bank has approached the Economic and Financial Crimes Comission (EFCC) to assist in recovering the bad debt of the bank from estate developers and mortgage banks, but the result is yet to be heard.
In response to calls from stakeholders including the President of REDAN,Surv. Ugochukwu Chime for the recapitalization of FMBN,the Hon. Minister of Power, Works and Housing Bar. Babatunde Fashola during the tour of major housing estates in Abuja assured stakeholders that the government would inject funds into Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) soon.
Also in the year under review, the Federal Ministry of works and Housing hosted the annual General Meeting of Shelter Afrique, a successful summit on Affordable Housing anchored by the PPP unit. The ministry has since started allocation of job to contractors for construction of block of flats in various parts of the country.
Looking at the state govts’ housing proposal, 10 states in the federation proposed to spend over N239.149 billion on housing going by their 2016 proposed budget allocation to the sector.
The states include Lagos, Kano, Sokoto, Kaduna, Taraba, Enugu, Ogun, Anambra, Akwa-Ibom and Kogi.
In the 2016 Budget document of each states, Kaduna state allocated N31 billion to housing, Taraba N4.8 billion, Akwa-Ibom N31.3bm billion, Anambra -N30 billion, Kogi -N6.51 billion, Ogun-N26.6 billion, Lagos-N62.7 billion and Enugu-N138 million.
Among these states, only Kano has lived up to the expectation by constructing 300 housing units in its first phase, which was confirmed by the state governor, AlhajiDanjumaGanduje, at the 10th Abuja housing show held in Abuja, recently. This feet earned him an award as the ‘Housing Governor of the year’ at the 10th Abuja Housing Show organised by fesadeb Communication in July 2016.
One major event that shaped the sector in 2016 was the hosting of the 10th Abuja Housing Show organised by Fesadeb media group. The event which was attended by all major stakeholders in the housing sector was attended by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Governor of Kano State, Umar Ganduje, Hon. Minister for Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Raji Fashola, Hon. Minister State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril, Senator Osita Izunaso Chairman Fesadeb media group, many senators and house of reps members, twenty (20) commissioners for housing from states with over 200 exhibitors. The show was sponsored by NMRC, Larfarge, UPDC, AFP Furniture, Nathaniel Florence, Platinum Mortgage Bank Ltd and Plus World Roofing. The communique issued at the end of the event has since been forwarded to the Presidency, Senate President, Speker house of Representatives, Governors, Honourable Minister for Housing, Honourable Minister for Finance.
Suggesting a way forward, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babantunde Fashola, at the show advocated a special budget for the sector in order to help it meet up with the increasing demand.