To provide sustainable housing policy, experts are moved by the increasing rate of urban population in Africa which would be more than 80 per cent by the year 2050 and the pressure to accommodate them. The have called for urgent steps to eradicate constraints fueling a mismatch between demand and supply of homes.
According to them, there was the need to address issues of harsh economic condition leading to low purchasing power, lack of affordable mortgages, and government’s bureaucracy in processing titles, high rate of rural/urban migration due to the poor infrastructural development in suburbs and difficulties in accessing lands among others, which are militating against affordable housing in Nigerian cities.
Specifically, they urged authorities to work out solutions to states’ ownership of lands, which is creating insecurity and crisis of confidence to mortgage lenders.
They also want government to address concerns on lack of accessible roads and other infrastructure.
Leading the call during a panel discussion at the 2018 African Real Estate Conference and Awards organized by ToLet Property Group, with the theme; “Growing African Cities: The Reshaping Model” held in Lagos, the Managing Director of AlphaMead Facilities and Management Services Limited, Femi Akintunde lamented the prevailing harsh operating environment which housing developers are subject to, stating that government needs to be credible in its housing policies as well as see private developers as friends/partners, rather than adversary.
Speaking on, “Sustainable and equitable housing: the role of government and private sector”, he charged authorities to review the forfeiture law and improve the judicial, boost credibility and see private sector as partners rather than an adversary.
Akintunde said government should implement policies that would enhance liquidity, show more commitments to quality standards, review the forfeiture law/ improve the judicial process to deal with issues of corruption and enforce strong regulatory and monitoring procedures.
Contributing the Managing Director of Afriland Properties, Uzo Oshogwe posited that private operators should be given secured site and services scheme to reduce condition.
According to her, low cost funding for developers would assist them to boost the available supply at a cost, which buyers could afford.
On how the public sector could support private operators, Oshogwe said; “There have to be collaboration between the public and private sector.
The government should provide legal and secured land ownership, provide conducive environment through a single digit loan plan and the federal government should digitise the land system across the country”.
Also speaking, a senior official from the states’ ministry of housing, Mrs. Olayinka Patunola-Ajayi disclosed that the Lagos state government is boosting the infrastructural landscape as a means creating a sustainable housing condition for residents.
Earlier, the Lagos State Government Commissioner for Housing, Prince Gbolahan Lawal pledged the resolve of government to provide enabling environment for private developers to partner authorities in reshaping the city, accommodate the low, middle-income and the rich people in the society.
According to him, the greatest challenge to government, is how to reduce the existing deficit stressing that as a way forward, the government has sets a target of 20,000 housing units by the year 2020 as part of its multifaceted approach to confront the three million shortfalls.
Those that won the AFRECA awards include Chairman, Megamound Investment, Otunba Olumide Osunsina(Outstanding Achievement to the Growth & Development of Nigeria Real Estate industry); Commissioner of Housing, Lagos State, Prince Gbolahan Lawal (Special Recognition Award for the growth & Development of the Real Estate industry).
Others are Managing Director, Afriland Properties, Uzoamaka Oshogwe (Most Enterprising Woman in Real Estate) and AlphaMead Facilities, Facility Management Company of the Year as well as Managing Director Nigeria, Mixta Africa, Kola Ashiru – Balogun (Most Enterprising Man in Real Estate for the Year) and Broll Nigeria (Real Estate Services Company Of the Year.