July 24, 2023

Desire to stick to master plan responsible for ongoing demolitions – FCT


…as housing professionals converge on Abuja, brainstorm on affordable housing

By John Alechenu, Abuja

Permanent Secretary of the Federal Capital Teritory Administration, FCTA, Olusade Oyinlola, has said the administration’s zero tolerance for violations of the Abuja master plan was responsible for ongoing removal of illegal structures across the six area councils of the territory.

He explained that the FCTA does not derive pleasure from taking down structures but was compelled to do so because of the deliberate disregard for laid down procedures by some developers.

The Permanent Secretary said this in his remarks at the ongoing Africa International Housing Show, in Abuja, on Monday.

He equally explained that the funding challenge which made it difficult for the administration to provide infrastructure led to the public- private partnership which culminated in the land swap deal.

Oyinlola said, “The core objective of the master plan is to provide dignified housing for our citizens.

“We take exceptions to violations of the master plan, does your investment align with the master plan?”

“We have had instances where individuals construct structures on road corridors and when they are approached they say we should divert the road.

“We will advise the public not to buy land from individuals without title documents , before buying a piece of land do a search with the relevant authorities before committing funds.

“Our inability to provide infrastructure led to the land swap deal to enable investors provide infrastructure and sell land allocated to them…”
Also speaking at the event, the Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN, Madu Hamman, said, “In FMBN, our focus is to deepen the housing finance and mortgage sector to improve its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product, enhance homeownership at the single digit rate among Nigerians for wealth creation and economic prosperity and drastically reduce the housing deficit.”

According to him, at the moment, the mortgage to GDP ratio is roughly 0.5 percent which is underwhelming.

To address this challenge, he said, “The FMBN is constantly reviewing its business operations to suit the different segments of our contributor base.

“In this respect, a number of initiatives and products are currently being rolled out to meet the yearnings and needs of the divise people who are contributors to the NHF.

“One of these was the recently approved increase in the NHF Mortgage loan ceiling from N15m to N50m per applicant in response to calls from high income earners majorly in the private sector.”

Coordinator, Africa International Housing Show, Festus Adebayo, in his remarks noted that since 2020, the world has changed tremendously with the various crisis across the globe, climate change and the distruption of the global value change with its attendant adverse influence on the housing industry.

He said, “We are convening in Abuja to focus on the theme : ‘Beyond Rhetoric to Homes: Making Housing Happen,’ in order to better comprehend and analyze these developments, as well as gain insight into their sustainability.”

The Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Shelter Afrique, Thiermo Habib Hann, in his remarks at the event said, “We need to put our hands together to deliver on affordable housing to our people.

“We need to work together to reduce the huge housing deficit in Africa.”