The Vice President and Chairman REDAN south west, CEO Cross and Churchill Estates Limited, Mr. Taiwo Ogunbodede, in a chat with Nigeria real Estate hub correspondent, Elsie Godwin, pointed out the country’s poor infrastructural mechanism as one of the Major challenges facing low cost housing in Nigeria. He also reiterated that the number of housing units being built yearly in the country is clearly not going to solve the 17million housing deficit in a long while.
Ogunbodede, a lawyer and a realtor, an alumni of Obafemi Awolowo University and a Havard business school trained entrepreneur, while describing his passion for real estate says the attraction for him is the ability to create something beautiful out of nothing. “The attraction for me personally is that I get to see a scenario where out of nothing you can create something. You go into a large expanse of land, just mere forest and you turn it to a beautiful estate where people live. Building edifice in a bare land for people to reside in gives me joy. Being able to create something out of nothing. That process of metamorphosis means a whole lot to me” He said.
Speaking on REDAN’s plan to offset the housing deficit in the country, he said, under the present national chairman in person of Ugochukwu Chime, REDAN is focusing on actually participating actively in reducing the housing deficit.
He also admonished the government to create enabling environment for REDAN and other well-meaning bodies and individuals to function.
“At REDAN we intend adding to the country’s GDP through reduction in housing deficit. We will collaborate with government and private sector to ensure that many affordable houses as possible are chunked out on a yearly basis.”
On social housing, He said that proper infrastructure and mechanism is needed to help see the affordable houses become reality.
“Nigeria is purely a capitalist economy where all men have to take care of themselves and no one takes care of anybody. Start by putting in proper structure. In developed economy, before government can approve an area for developmental structure, it must have put in place the necessary infrastructural facilities. In Nigeria, we don’t have such. When talking about affordable housing, the first thing you must guarantee is evened development across the board.”
He expressed the need for affordable land. Stating that a house cannot be affordable if the land is not affordable.
“Take Epe for instance, when you put up affordable housing there, the first question would be how to get to work from there. In developed economy it matters not where you live, you can live anywhere because you have various means of transportation. You have tubes, you have trains, you have buses arriving on time, it doesn’t really matter where you live.”
He also talked on the need for Government to make loans available to investors and the masses at single digit rate. “We need affordable loans and cheap lands”
He also expressed concern on Nigerians not accepting alternative cheaper mode of construction. “Once we are still going through the wet mode of construction, its expensive. So we need to look inward at our mode of construction. There are cheaper mode of construction but Nigeria has not accepted these cheaper modes of construction.” He said.
On the controversy surrounding the N24.6billion FG’s housing bond, he stated that there is a seeming collapse in the economy due to the way governance had been conducted in the last 4/5years or thereabout. The housing sector cannot be excluded from the economy and this is what happens when a government does not plan.
He was optimistic that the new government would drive change in every sector of the economy including the housing sector. He said he wasn’t entirely surprised that the housing bond being irredeemable. “It’s obvious the money is not going to be paid now”. He stated
Speaking on cross and Churchill Estates Limited at 7years, he stated that the company thrive to put a mark of quality on every project such that the clients don’t have to worry about the output of their projects.
“By the end of this year, we are looking to develop 100 homes to our clients and also go ahead to take our different estates to the next level. We are part of the dream to add value to Nigerian economy”