By Chika Okeke, Abuja
President/chairman of Council, Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria (AHCN), QS Mohammed Baba Adamu has disclosed that the professional body has commenced the process of structuring a N500 billion revolving housing intervention fund from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to facilitate mass housing construction in Nigeria.
To this end, he confirmed that the association has created an off-takers database throughout Nigeria in partnership with Value Chain Project Consultant Limited. Adamu who stated this in Abuja when he led members of the association on a courtesy visit to the headquarters of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), emphasized that the project would not be implemented without the involvement of FMBN.
He therefore solicited the backing of FMBN on the intervention fund as well as in providing mortgages for the off-takers that would be generated from the projects across the country.
He noted that the activities of the association over the decades gave birth to the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), the 1990 National Housing Policy (NHP), National Housing Fund (NHF) and FMBN.
He said that despite FMBN commitment to housing development as manifested in the bank’s recent reforms which provided effective avenue for housing finance that Nigeria’s housing needs are still high. “We are aware of the diverse housing problems in the country and the enormous challenges of government in tackling these problems over the years despite all efforts of successive governments”.
He noted that the housing challenges appeared to have defiled all solutions adding that the professional body is determined to finding possible ways to mitigate housing problems in the country.
On high cost of housing units, he added, “We are currently working out modalities of developing affordable housing through the use of local building materials which is being powered through a collaboration of the association with FMBN and NBRRI”.
“This was a renewed effort of a similar collaboration carried out during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime which produced some housing estates built with NBRRI interlocking technology that was pioneered by Ekiti State Housing Corporations with 225 housing units”.
He noted that FMBN provided funds for the project; NBRRI provided the technology while AHCN provided the land adding that the houses were allocated to NHF contributors in Kaduna, Kwara and Abia states.
He listed the myriad challenges confronting the housing sector as the escalating cost of building materials, cost of funds and infrastructure which made the quest for decent affordable accommodation to be high. This he said brought the principles of demand and supply at crossroads with great lull in demand irrespective of high need for housing.
On his part, managing director of FMBN, Arc. Ahmed Dangiwa maintained that FMBN has always enjoyed mutually beneficial relationship with about 29 member organisations of AHCN which led to the approval of EDLs to build 10, 000 housing units nationwide.
He sought for greater collaboration with housing corporations to improve engagement with state governments even as he appreciated the efforts of AHCN in addressing the housing challenges in the country.
Dangiwa highlighted the challenges faced by housing corporations as state government’s failure to provide infrastructure as promised, delays in packaging NHF mortgage loans to off-takers and delays in mortgage perfection due to non-issuance of title documents and governor’s consent.