Housing development is slow because it is choked by several factors These include access to finance, land, materials and resources.
Others are access to tilting, governor’s consent and approvals, which have made it impossible to have potent demands for housing as developers are almost choked by demands from the government and her agencies, the Chairman, Real Estate Developers of Nigeria (REDAN), Southwest Zone, ‘Debo Adejana, has said.
He said: “There is no potent demand for housing in Nigeria but rather a latent demand because of high cost of mortgage rate and tenure. The nation is not in short supply of vast land, but unfortunately, they are not bankable as they have no economic value as a result of the cumbersome nature of obtaining titles and other relevant documents from government.
As a body, we want to work with government to make smooth these rough edges so that we can have an enabling environment to operate and fill the much-needed gap in housing development.’’
He said the economy could be rejigged through the sector by making it a construction site like others globally, especially during the pandemic.
According to him, the country is never in short supply of policies but rather the prudent implementation of them. He said REDAN could reduce the gap in the housing need put at 700,000 yearly by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) if the government could partner the body by creating an enabling environment. He lamented that over-regulation and delays in obtaining titles and permits hampered their operation, especially with loans and bank instruments with timelines.
Adejana lamented that they borrow funds at 20 per cent and only make about 30 per cent in the bottom line, saying any delay, especially in obtaining papers from the government for construction or for off-takers, affects developers.
The REDAN Southwest chief maintained that except the government intervened by making approvals easily available, there would be no end to the procuring of papers through unconventional methods. He advised the government to eliminate the time wasted in getting land documents.
According to him, the government would generate more revenue while developers would be in business and the public adequately housed if efficiency is created in the sector.
He called on the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to eliminate sub-standard materials from the market, adding that the building materials market is suffocated by fake and sub-standard materials that cause incessant building failures. He canvassed a system that would deal with sub-standard materials in the sector.
Berating the new Stamp Duty, he regretted that while other governments are giving reliefs to their citizens, ours is introducing taxes to further pauperise the people.
He called for a reorientation on the education policy where artisans would be trained. He noted that developers had to resort to sourcing and engaging artisans from neigbouring countries.
General Secretary, Southwest zone, Kunle Adeyemi said the association could change the tide in homeownership, if the government could make smooth the process of obtaining land titling, access to finance and work on vocational education. He said: “The government should create awareness on the necessary documentation for developers, devoid of ambiguity and also create a realistic turn-around time because time is a key in property development.’’
He lamented that for them to get competent artisans they had to pay more by engaging ‘expatriate artisans’ from the West African sub-region with the attendant challenge of language barrier. Most of the local artisans, he claimed, don’t have either the competence or character that could stand the test of time unlike their counterparts from neigbouring countries.
Credit: The Nation