The Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) has identified the failure of the federal government to impose tax on unoccupied homes as one of the nation’s housing challenges.
This is even as the institute stressed the need for the government to put in place a policy that would compel developers to rent out completed but unoccupied estates in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja or pay a tax of 50 per cent annually.
The director general, NBRRI, Prof Samson Juna who disclosed this in Abuja yesterday, during a civil society roundtable with the theme: ‘’Harnessing the Gains of NBRRI as a Key Factor in Achieving the Next Level Agenda of Government’’ also alleged that people invest in the housing sector to clean or invest corrupt funds.
‘’We conducted research and discovered that 45 per cent of the houses in Abuja are unoccupied because people cannot afford to rent or buy them.
‘’Sequel to this our recommendation to the government is that half of the rent annually which is 50 per cent should be paid as tax to the government coffers and that was our recommendation to the government.’’
Speaking earlier, the executive director, Center for Peace Transparency and Accountability, Comrade Ogheneyero Patrick said building and construction must go beyond mere budgeting for procurement contracts to building world-class manpower and technology and NBRRI has played a leadership role in this, with potential for expansion.
He said the civil society must gear its advocacy towards ensuring that all stakeholders are on board on the mission to rejig and rethink how construction and building are done in Nigeria towards ensuring interconnectivity of the nation’s economy.
‘’Our goal in this programme today is to come up with strategies for engagement with a view to securing improved funding for the institute while providing incentives for converting research outputs into commercial use at scale,’’ he added.