Worried by over 17 million housing deficit, the federal government has revealed that Nigeria needed about N80 trillion to unlock huge investment potentials inherent in the housing sector.

Managing director/chief executive of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Mr Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, stated this yesterday during the opening of a 2-day Archibuilt 2018 Expo, organised by the Nigeria Institute of Architect (NIA) in Abuja.

Speaking on the theme: ‘Housing and National Development,’ he called on all levels of government and stakeholders to consciously promote and sustain efforts aimed at boosting development in the country.

Dangiwa enjoined local and international investors to tap into the potentials, saying that such potentials would transform the economy and propel national development.

He said though all current indices were negative but the opportunities for growth and national development were unquantifiable, adding that housing promotes socio-political stability.

The MD emphasised that the quantum of housing deficit opened up huge potentials for mobilisation of investment into the sector particularly foreign direct investment (FDI), saying that FDIs would boost the economy and expand access to housing finance.

He pointed out that access to mortgages by Nigerians would be enhanced through the consequential availability of mortgage-able assets.

Dangiwa listed mortgage finance, land governance system, low wage structure, high cost of building materials as well as unchecked population growth and rapid urbanisation as the most critical challenges to housing provision in Nigeria.

He was worried that scarcity of long-term housing and mortgage finance constituted considerable challenge overtime, noting that apart from mortgages offered by FMBN through the National Housing Fund (NHF), it’s impossible to access long-tenured mortgage at single digit interest rate in Nigeria.

The MD stated that land governance system has made access to land and titles cumbersome and costly, a situation that led to difficulties in accessing mortgage finance for housing development.

On low earnings, he said, “Most middle and low income earners cannot afford to purchase any home without subsidy due to the abysmally low level of household income while inflation and other macroeconomic challenges have eroded their purchasing power.”

Dangiwa maintained that in collaboration with the national assembly and other relevant stakeholders, the FMBN Act likewise the NHF Act had been amended and passed by the house of representative and transmitted to the senate for concurrence.

Also speaking, the minister of water resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu, stated that Nigeria required about $5billion annual investment to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target of 2030.

The minister, who was represented by his special assistant, Engr Tauheed Amusan, lamented that poor investment was the reason Nigeria was unable to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on water and sanitation even as he expressed optimism that the National Water Resources bill currently before the national assembly would be passed into law this year.

He said though the ministry has improved access to water and sanitation in the country, it’s the responsibility of state governments to provide water since federal government does not manage water corporations.