Farida Princess Ahmed, a young Abuja property developer has called for the federal government’s intervention in the land and real estate sector in order to strengthen the property market.
Speaking with our correspondent at her office in Abuja, Ahmed who is the Chief Executive Officer and Project Coordinator of Premium Shelther, emphasized that the property market in the nation’s federal capital, continues to suffer due to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Initial estimates at the beginning of the year show that Nigeria now has a housing deficit of between 16 million and 22 million housing units. Although I believe that this is a conservative estimate, it is important to note that with over 180 million people in the country, these statistics show that we need greater government intervention in the sector.
“People need homes, and even in areas where there are empty buildings, a lot of people cannot actually afford them. This is why, we must ensure that greater financing options are available across all boards,” Ahmed said.
The Premium Shelter boss emphasised that across the value chain, from property developers to prospective homeowners, there needs to be viable alternatives to build and purchase homes.
“Not everyone has access to liquid assets,” Ahmed said, “This is why an urgent necessary conversation needs to be had about how to ensure that everyday Nigerians — especially those with stable incomes — can begin to build their own homes.
“Thousands of people are pouring into Abuja everyday for work and other opportunities. If care is not taken, we will have a lot more homeless people on our streets, which threatens our collective security. In this regard, we also need a detailed database — not only in Abuja, but across the nation — of the available housing units.
“Of course, such a database must also come with actual numbers to determine how many we actually are. Now, it is clear that we are between 180 million and 200 million, however, we need to be specific to address this salient issue that is at the heart of our nation’s sustainable development,” Ahmed said.