BY HANNAH ONI, Lagos
Real estate experts have fingered lack of funding as well as the land use acts as two main problems contributing to housing deficit in the country.
Nigeria, as a country, needs 17 million houses to bridge the housing gap.
The experts who spoke at a forum in Abuja recently, noted that, housing delivery will require a comprehensive approach, which will mobilise and harness the efforts of private and public sectors as well as civil societies.
The chairman of EFAB Properties, Chief Fabian Nwaora, said, accessing funds from the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigerian (FMBN) was fraught with bureaucratic bottlenecks, including the presentation of collateral as precondition for the release of funds.
“The Land Use Act created more problems than it was intended to solve and access to land, especially in urban centres became more difficult and expensive than it was prior to its enactment,” he pointed out
Nwaora also enumerated challenges facing the real estate sector as high cost of infrastructure, increasing rural urban migration, inadequate finance mechanism for low-income housing, inadequacy of administrative and legislative framework.
Similarly, the managing director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Ahmed Dangiwa, said: “we need to spread physical, commercial and economic development across the country; our mutual interest must focus on a new model of homeownership.”
Dangiwa added that, apart from Lagos that serves as commercial capital, Abuja is still an administrative and political centre, but its a location most international visitors and tourists will associate with in the country.
On mass housing in FCT, he stated that, they are planning to finance mini cities, noting that, the project is targeting yearly construction of houses over the next five years.
Explaining further, FMBN boss said: “each project site will have 2,500 units of two and three bedroom flats, adding that the FCT accounts for 20 per cent of houses funded by us.”