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‘Affordable Housing Not Achievable Without Subsidy’



Stakeholders in the built environment have expressed divergent views on government’s housing policy suggesting that affordable housing is unattainable without federal government subsidising the cost of houses.

They made the submissions through a housing development group platform in Abuja. In his contribution, the former president of Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Tpl. Steve Onu disclosed that affordable housing in a private sector driven environment would not be achieved without subsidy.

He said that Nigerians should not be deceived considering that the modus operandi of affordable housing in other countries is incomparable with the current housing programmes in the country.

The vice chairman of Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON), Bldr Samson Opaluwah argued that the components of a building is much more than bricks, concrete, wood and mortar.

According to him, “Let’s carefully look at the supply side of building materials. Where will the reinforcements come from? Is Ajaokuta producing? What is the annual local production of iron rods? Are we going to depend on imports?” he asked.

He queried the total local production volume of plumbing fittings, cables, lighting fittings, seasoned timber, and paints and among others.

Opaluwah pointed out that experiences of failed programmes in the country should serve as a springboard for success in the nearest future. While calling on government and stakeholders to restrategise on affordable housing programmes, he drummed support for well-articulated programme.

Also, a developer, Arc Adewunmi Towolawi Okupe noted that if the cost of houses are moderate and targeted towards particular income group that affordable housing would be achievable. He stated that a tenant who lived in a rented apartment for over 20 years must have paid more than enough to build the house.

Okupe pointed out that one of the company’s concept is to design houses for a particular income group and structure monthly repayment of not more than one third of their monthly income, which he believed would make the houses affordable for the group.

Giving a breakdown on N100bn housing intervention fund, he emphasised that 967 units of housing could be built annually with subscribers monthly payment. He stated that a minimum of 45, 000 three bedrooms houses could be built with N100bn at the cost of N6m each.

Okupe informed that the fund could be set on autopilot to produce 5000 three bedroom houses yearly after the initial 16,667 three bedroom houses or more if the fund would be used for the construction of 1 and 2 bedroom houses for low income earners.

On his part, the principal consultant on value chain project, Mr. Joshua Egbagbe said that the consulting firm carried out a research on value chain – driven model of offtakers with active support of the German Government Sustainable Economic Development Pro-Poor Agency, (GIZ).

He said that plans are underway to officially publish the multi-pager research result adding that some state governments, organisations and stakeholders have validated the concept and commenced implementation at little or no cost.

Egbagbe maintained that the firm has developed fully automated, web and mobile apps and software as well as fully integrated digital platforms for scalability and maximum off-takers profiling.