The chairman of JEDO Investment Limited, Alhaji Aliyu Oroji Wamakko has disclosed that with lower interest rate and special intervention fund for housing development, that investors would be able to provide houses at a very cheaper price.
In an interview with LEADERSHIP in Abuja, however pleaded with federal government to resolve the absence of special intervention fund in the housing sector, just like it was done in the agriculture sector.
The chairman was optimistic that the failure of government to provide intervention fund is the reason for high interest rate and high cost of houses in the built sector.
He stated that cooperative housing finance is key to accessing decent and affordable housing especially for the low income earners in the informal sector.
Wamakko who is also the vice president, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) requested that federal government should subsidise the prices of its houses for low income earners.
He hinted that REDAN has consistently advocated for the enactment of foreclosure law to safeguard realty investment in case of default by off-takers.
The chairman stated that the only alternative to end sprawling slum settlements, which he described as a breeding area for miscreants and other negative societal vices, is for government to provide decent and affordable houses for Nigerians.
He commended federal government for initiating the National Housing Programme (NHP), as World Bank had revealed that Nigeria has over 17 million housing deficit.
“I believe the programme is a step forward in addressing the issue of housing deficit in Nigeria, but the only thing I find difficult is the prices of the houses which are yet to be announced publicly,’’he said.
Wamakko hinted that the infrastructure at the sites should reflect the cost of the houses, to avoid derailing the objectives of building for low income earners, saying that the houses should be affordable.
“When we are talking about housing cost, we should first of all consider the plight of workers and civil servants as well as others in the public sector, If you examine their monthly income, it’s too poor to buy a house,’’he said.
The chairman noted that though labour unions settled for N30, 000 minimum wage, that the annual rental fees, food and clothing are the three priorities that should be considered before increasing salaries of civil servants.
“For instance, if somebody pays annual rent of N600, 000 to N700, 000 for a 2 bedroom flat, if you divide it into 12 months, that means his salary cannot offset the rental fee including other responsibilities like payment of school fees, clothing and other domestic issues”, he said.
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