Nigeria needs 700,000 housing units annually to meet MDG – Board

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Abuja – The Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria said on Thursday that Nigeria needed 700,000 housing units annually to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

This is contained in a communique signed by the President and Registrar of the board, Messrs Husaini Dikko and Mr Godson Moneke respectively, at the end of the 4th Annual Building and Construction Economic Round-Table (BCERT 4).

The communiqué indicated that the current annual housing production which stands at 100,000, was grossly inadequate.

It put the current housing deficit in Nigeria at 17 million units adding that about N56 trillion was required to finance it.

“In the developed countries of Europe and the United States, mortgage finance contributes between 50 per cent and 80 per cent to the Gross (GDP) of the respective countries.

“Whereas in Nigeria, it contributes less than one per cent; only five per cent of the 13.7 million housing units in Nigeria are financed through mortgage, making most Nigerians to rely on private savings to pay for their homes.

“Housing and construction account for less than four per cent of Nigeria’s current rebased GDP.

“Home ownership in Nigeria is just 25 per cent of the population as against 61 per cent in Benin Republic, 41 per cent  in Libya, 56 per cent in South Africa, 63 per cent  in Brazil, 70 per cent in the United States, 73 per cent in Kenya and 90 per cent in Singapore.’’

According to the communique, home ownership is poor in Nigeria because most people cannot afford this costly asset without government’s support and subsidies.

It noted that government was no longer involved in direct construction of houses thus subjecting home ownership to the vagaries of market forces as driven by the private real estate developers.

The communiqué said that the absence of an intervention fund similar to those of aviation, textile, Nollywood and education had hampered the provision of affordable houses for Nigerians.

It said that to address the challenge, the 4th Annual Building and Construction Economic Round-Table (BCERT 4) recommended that the government should develop a master plan for home ownership and fund its implementation without delay.

It added that the Federal Government should encourage and fund the current effort of the board to develop a National Construction Cost Database.

It said the database would promote accountability and transparency in the standardisation of costing and pricing of new homes for Nigerians to guarantee the success of the proposed master plan implementation.

It said research into the use of cheaper alternative building technology should be promoted in determining minimum housing standards for various segments of the Nigerian households.

The communiqué said housing and real estate sub-sector could be used by government to create employment on a massive scale and increase production within the National Domestic Economy.

It said Interest rates on mortgages for home ownership should be drastically reduced and that there should be generous concessions and drastic reduction of duties on housing materials.

It said mortgage banks, real estate developers and other stakeholders in the building/housing sector should leverage ample opportunities in the Capital Market for cheaper finance to fund housing development.

“The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) should be strengthened by increasing its capital base for it to remain a sustainable financial institution with capacity to enhance efficient housing finance development in Nigeria.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should provide clear guidance to Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs) and other stakeholders on recapitalisation, as well as increased surveillance and supervisory activities on the PMBs to ensure their orderly growth, development and effectiveness.’’ It said. (NAN)

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