By Ignatius Ushie
The Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) has lauded the federal government’s moves to accelerate the pace of reforms in the housing sector via the National Housing Fund (NHF).
The minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola had earlier stressed there is a need to create National Housing Funds that developers can access at a reasonable rate to reduce the housing deficit in the country.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja recently, the President, REDAN, Alh Aliyu Oroji Wamakko, said construction of houses must be private-sector driven.
He stressed that this is because the private developers do not just build a house but ensure that the houses are properly maintained.
According to him, “Government has no business in building houses or constructing houses for homeless Nigerians. It is the duty of developers to do so while the government facilitates the process.”
Lauding the initiatives, he said this will help in solving the housing deficit in the country.
“We are happy that the minister of Works and Housing has seen the need to solve this problem via a private-sector approach.
“We believe it will be a win-win situation for the developer and the government.”
He assured that private developers will pay taxes and create employment via the initiative.
On recapitalization of the Mortgage bank, he called on the Federal Government to recapitalize the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria FMBN to enable the apex mortgage bank to increase delivery of affordable housing in the country.
According to him, “FMBN is the only bank that gives loans to developers at an affordable rate. They give loans to developers at 6, 9, and 10 percent. We believe that recapitalising them will solve the housing deficit.”
He argued that at the moment the bank is grossly inadequate to solve the huge housing deficit confronting the country.
Wamakko emphasized that the long-overdue recapitalization of the bank is fundamental to the growth of the housing industry as it will empower the FMBN to service both the demand and supply sides of the housing market in Nigeria.
“Recapitalization is the best answer to help reduce the housing deficit in Nigeria,” he added.