In view of the worrisome 28 m housing deficit across the country, operators in the Real Estate sector have advocated for stronger government intervention and provision of incentives to players in the building manufacturing value chain as part of pragmatic solutions for housing delivery.
Other suggestions made by the operators who spoke at a one-day lecture on housing delivery, charting the roadmap, organised by Knight Frank Nigeria recently, include appointing qualified individuals to critical positions in housing sector and re-examination of regulatory policies.
Other suggestions are putting in place necessary legal framework and enforcing them, ensuring pension fund is attractive for housing development and political will by the government to deliver housing to the people.
Hakeem Ogunniran, Chairman of Lagos Building Investment Company PLC (LBIC) who moderated a panel discussion at the conference agreed that government needs to play a huge role in housing delivery.
He underscored the need for a coalition of critical stakeholders in the housing value chain for deliberations and actions towards reducing the housing deficit.
Ogunniran enumerated the challenges confronting the delivery of housing to the populace to include high cost and acquisition of land, poor infrastructure, funding, explaining that the real estate is incompatible with short term funding.
He also identified technical challenges, multiplicity of regulatory agencies, cumbersomeness of regulation, legislative bottlenecks and lack of political will by the government to deeply intervene in housing delivery. “In spite of these challenges , operators still struggle to deliver”, he said.
Sade Hughes, country manager, Mixta Nigeria who also spoke at the conference said the proposed incentives to local manufacturers of building materials will make them to produce more and sell at cost effective rates. She said this will check capital flight spent on buying materials abroad.
She also advocated for reduced duty on any material that must be imported.
On how Nigeria can create a system that endures and sees housing as fundamental no matter the political party in power, Uzoamaka Oshogwe, CEO of Afriland Properties said this should be enshrined in the Constitution. She said all government must see housing as a necessity and a right instead of a privilege.
Kehinde Ogundimu, CEO of Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company who emphasised on data for informed decision and collaboration among public and private sectors called for the review of regulatory framework towards achieving solutions for housing delivery.
In her keynote speech, May Abdel Hamid, CEO of Social Housing and Mortgage Finance Fund in Egypt shared her experience in housing delivery saying Egypt with 500,000 annual demand of housing has made significant progress informed by collaboration, data and government support.
Moruf Akinderu-Fatai Commissioner for Housing, Lagos State said shortage of decent homes is an issue that is common to urban settlements all over the world. He said it has become a major obligation of all governments to respond to the challenges of homelessness and destitution especially as the inflation rises on a global scale.
Moruf who was represented by Olukemi Fasudo, Director , Estates, Lagos Ministry of Housing said in Nigeria, demands for decent homes outstrip supply. He attributed this to huge supply of homes for the rich and so little for the poor.
He called on the Private sector investor to look into the diverse long term gains in rental schemes as opposed to outright sales as rental system accounts for the home needs of 80.7% of Lagosians.
Earlier, Frank Okosun, CEO, Knight Frank Nigeria said the conference theme was apt because certain methods have proven impracticable and have since failed and it has become imperative to identify more fit-for-purpose models for housing delivery.