The Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria (AHCN) has blamed state housing ministries for the usurpation of its statutory roles and responsibilities in housing construction and development. The group observed that the situation is purely unnecessary duplication of duty, which will in the long run cause distraction, unfair competition, and sheer wastages/repetition of efforts and resources.
AHCN President, Mohammed Baba Adamu who spoke at a two-day national workshop/ the 98th Council meeting of the association, with the theme, ‘Housing as Veritable Tools for Economic Recovery’ held in Abuja, urged housing ministries to strictly reduce its activities to policy formulation and monitor statutory parastatals to ensure policy compliance and accomplishment.
“There is no doubt that state housing agencies have potential to meet the housing needs of the people but this cannot be achieved without the support of the state governments.
“ It is pertinent that State Governments should engage their State Housing Agency as the executor in all their housing programmes and projects to make those corporations more relevant to their statutory responsibilities”.
On efforts to improve housing in the country, AHCN boss said the organisation is strategising to bring back affordable mass housing provision with a proposed 1,000 housing units in each of the states of the federation and Abuja.
“We plan to kick off with a pilot scheme of 5, 000 housing units in selected states details of which will be unveiled shortly. Arrangements for the funding are being finalised to ensure that the houses are affordable with provision for mortgages for potential buyers through our off-takers database which are currently being compiled in collaboration with our partner in each of the states of the federation especially the civil servants for the programme”, he stated.
Adamu who also spoke on, ‘Housing the rural populace: the local government option’, informed the gathering that it’s imperative for local governments to be proactive and embark on profitable ventures through strategic partnership with other relevant government agencies and private investors to enhance productivity and the development of the housing sector.
In his submission, the Director-General, Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute, (NBRRI), Prof. Danladi Matawal, re-echoed the need to strengthen access to finance, operations and building maintenance, building component standardisation and infrastructure.
Matawal said the task of providing decent, affordable housing is a growing challenge for stakeholders in developing economies who are faced with the need to overcome the present housing deficit, which would require a daunting financial resource and Infrastructure.
Matawal said as access to finance poses a great challenge to the industrial expansion, countries could improve underwriting by establishing credit bureaus, which are uncommon in developing economies, training and certifying property appraisers.
In some countries, he said, collective-savings programs like provident funds and building societies have helped low-income households to accumulate down payments, with the pooled savings also providing capital for low-interest mortgages.
He stated that infrastructural development was important for housing improvement, stressing that where many areas lack adequate transport, water, electricity, and sanitation infrastructure, providing affordable housing could be a difficult experience.
Also speaking, the president, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, (REDAN), Ugochukwu Chime explained that REDAN in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and eleven other institutions have established the National Real Estate Data Collation and Management Programme (NRE-DCMP).
According to him, the initiative is aimed at developing a comprehensive collation and management of data for planning, preconstruction, construction and post construction in the real estate sector of the country.
The sectorial information, he stated, will help in policy formulation for the development of the sector and unleash its potential for employment generation, inclusive socio-economic growth as well as provision of shelter.