‘Blame policy summersaults, funding for housing woes’

Policy summersaults, dearth of funds, improper regulatory and compliance system for real estate developers have been listed as some of the reasons for Nigeria’s housing sector woe. According to the experts, these factors have led to huge housing deficit in the nation as over 65 per cent of Nigerians live in slums. Speaking on housing developmen t, Promoter of Abuja International Housing Show, Mr. Festus Adebayo, warned that multiplicity of institutions and agencies would not solve the housing challenges in the country.

He stated that re-engineering restructuring and reinvigorating existing ones in line with enlightened best interest might turn out to be the answer. Adebayo, who is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Fesadeb Communications, add ed that it would be better to promote a bank with sustainable source of funding for the housing sector.

Decrying the situation, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, also blamed the 17 million housing deficit in Nigeria on policy somersault by successive administrations. He urged the delegates of Federal Housing Authority (FHA), who paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja, to come up with a comprehensive social housing roadmap to tackle the huge housing deficit in the country.

He pointed out that the provision of affordable and low-cost houses to citizens remained a primary responsibility of government, saying “it is a social investment that should ease housing challenges.”

Mustapha noted that over the years, the objective of provision of low cost houses to the teeming Nigerian population had not been realised due to policy somersaults by the successive administrations.

He urged that since government is a continuum, all developmental policies of housing agency should be sustained and not discarded. According to the President, Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Mr. Kenneth Nnabuife, housing problems will start simmering the very day all professionals in the housing development sector rise with one voice to exert their control of the industry and deliver according to the mandates of their professional callings.

“I am happy with the consciousness that this platform is exciting because the sick manifestation in the medical sector could be a paradise for what will happen in the housing development industry if we refuse to listen to inner prompts,” Nnabuife said.

The NIOB boss posited that funding was not just the problem of housing, but other issues such as the attitude of leadership, uncoordinated perspectives of policy, unpredictable legal environment and apparent lack of faith in the polity by the investing public.

He said: “All put together is confusing and compromising the zeal and commitments of developers and financiers away from anchoring due investments in housing processes and project deliveries.

“Once the professionals sit up and avoid sycophancy, reject the Judas’Midas touch, and refuse the compromising ‘plates of porridge’, all policy formulations and process drivers will accordingly shape in, and the paradigms for implementation and control institution will collocate to promote the realms of efficient housing development and delivery.”

The NIOB boss said that issues raised concerning interests, people element, and need for a construction bank would enjoy endless resonance if the ‘bottom pot’ solution to housing and project delivery challenges must be reconciled away.