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Stakeholders demand special fund for housing deficit

Stakeholders in the housing sector have urged the federal government to immediately work out a modality to establish a special intervention fund to take care of the housing deficit of Nigerians.

They made the call in Abuja at the 2nd annual Nigeria Housing Finance Conference and Affordable Housing fair 2018 organised by the Nigeria Integrated Social Housing Cooperative Society Limited (NISH) on Tuesday with the theme: “Innovative Financing of Affordable Housing”.

The stakeholders were unanimous in saying that the current 18 million housing deficit in the country can be overcome if the National Assembly can set aside certain percent of the annual budgets for the special funding.

Speaking at the event, a former Nigeria Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, said that affordable housing cannot be achieved without easy access to funds, lands and technology.

Prof. Gambari, who was represented by a former Commissioner in Katsina State, Ambassador Sanni Bala, said that the multiplier effect of affordable housing will not only bring peace to Nigeria but will also guarantee adequate security for the citizens.

“Today, we need easy loans of a single digits, our banks cannot guarantee this; this is why we are asking for special funding window especially for the low and middle income earners, we also need building centres across the country; building materials should be produced locally if we will achieve the affordable housing for the people, government must lower the costs of imported building materials, provide infrastructure and recover the costs through reasonable method, we must finance the supply and demand side especially, the off-takers,” he said.

In his opening address, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of NISH, Mr. Yemi Adelakun, said that lack of off-takers access to credit line is the major challenge that must be tackled for the nation to achieve a successful affordable housing delivery.

“There had been disproportionate focus on provision of construction finance without corresponding provisions for off-takers finance, this explains the preponderance of completed houses around major cities without buyers or occupants,” Adelakun said.

Also speaking, the chairman of the occasion, Mr. Bassey Ekpeyong, said the mortgage system had refused to lend itself to the public servants because of the low wages received by the supposed beneficiaries.

Credit: Daily Trust

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