stories By Chika Okeke, Abuja
The President/Chairman of Council, Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria (AHCN), QS Mohammed Baba Adamu has stated that despite the commitment of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) to housing development that Nigeria’s housing needs are still high.
Adamu who stated this in Abuja when he led members of the association on a courtesy visit to the headquarters of FMBN, said the commitment was manifested in the bank’s recent reforms which provided effective avenue for housing finance.
According to him, “we are aware of the diverse housing problems in the country and the enormous challenges of government in tackling these problems over the years despite all efforts of successive governments.”
He noted that the activities of the association over the decades gave birth to the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), the 1990 National Housing Policy (NHP), National Housing Fund (NHF) and FMBN.
He maintained that the housing challenges appeared to have defiled all solutions adding that the professional body is determined to finding possible ways to mitigate housing problems in the country.
On high cost of housing units, he added, “We are currently working out modalities of developing affordable housing through the use of local building materials which is being powered through a collaboration of the association with FMBN and NBRRI.”
The president was optimistic that a similar collaboration was carried out during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime that led to the construction of some housing estates with NBRRI interlocking technology adding that it was pioneered by Ekiti State Housing Corporations with 225 housing units.
He disclosed that FMBN and NBRRI provided funds and technology for the projects respectively while AHCN provided the land for the project adding that the houses were allocated to NHF contributors in Kaduna, Kwara and Abia states.
He listed the myriad challenges confronting the housing sector as the escalating cost of building materials, cost of funds and infrastructure which made the quest for decent affordable accommodation to be high. This he said brought the principles of demand and supply at crossroads with great lull in demand irrespective of high need for housing.
Adamu disclosed that the professional body has commenced the process of structuring a N500 billion revolving housing intervention fund from the Central Bank of Nigeria to facilitate mass housing construction in Nigeria.
While noting that the project would not be implemented without the involvement of FMBN, he revealed that the association has created an off-takers database throughout Nigeria in partnership with Value Chain Project Consultant Limited. He sought the backing of FMBN on the intervention fund as well as in providing mortgages for the off-takers that would be generated from the projects across the country.