Worried by accommodation shortages in the country, President of Real Estate Developers’ Association (REDAN), Rev. Ugochukwu Chime, has tasked the Federal Government to get back to full implementation of commercialisation of housing programmes already abandoned.

According to him, government must embrace workable Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative, driven by the private sector in order to achieve tangible results in the area of mass housing.

“There is need for government to allow workable Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative, driven by private sector without authority’s incessant intervention for better performance in the sector,” he said. Although Chime claimed not to have seen details of 2017 budget on housing, he urged government to encourage investment in cheap houses for urban populace.

To be able to do this successfully, he urged government to be consistent in its policy formulation due to long-term investment in housing, adding that operators in the private sector should be fully involved in policy formulation for better implementation.

Chime said: “Investment climate has to be cleared for investors to come in. The era of coercing the private sector to do things is gone. Government needs to get their endorsement in order to buy into programmes.”

On Federal Government’s one million housing initiative, Chime said that government was yet to engage his members, advising that it will do Nigerians a lot of good if the central authorities engage those firms that have been doing housing construction with track records. Besides, he tasked the authorities to do something about some of the problems associated with Land Use Act, which has limited provision of mass housing by both developers and government.

He said: “The issue of Land Use Act is still a setback, because rather for the state government to give prime land for housing initiative, they made land available in the periphery. We know that governors own land.” Besides, there would be need for all stakeholders, comprising developers, finance providers and off-takers to brainstorm on full participation.

“Also, there is need to solve challenges surrounding mortgage before awarding contract for housing construction,” he said. He called for recapitalisation of FMBN to provide necessary loans for home seekers. He said: “There is need for the recapitalisation of FMBN to be able to carry out its functions effectively.

Even if it is to provide loan for buyers, then the issue of estate development loan for housing construction can be resolved. Without this, the price of the housing units will be out of the reach of the low- and medium income earners. “There is no need to ask developers to seek money anywhere to build.”

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