Concerned about the growing population in Lagos and other major cities in Nigeria, quantity surveyors and other built environment professionals have renewed calls for long-term mortgage financing.
The professionals also worry that while population in the metropolitan Lagos, for instance, is growing at geometrical progression, the provision of urban infrastructure and housing to meet the demand for same is not growing at commensurate rate.
Angele Alufohai, president, Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), says Lagos is the second most populous city in Africa after Cairo in Egypt, adding that the city is estimated to be the fastest growing in Africa, and the seventh fastest in the world with a population increase of about 600,000 persons per annum.
The NIQS boss states this in a paper titled, ‘Lagos State 2010 Mortgage Law and the Supply of Housing’, he presented at the ‘FIG Working Week 2013 tagged ‘Environment for Sustainability’ in Abuja.
“Lagos population is growing 10 times faster than New York and Los Angeles with grave implications for housing delivery. At its present growth rate, the United Nations estimates that Lagos will be the third largest mega city in the world by the year 2015, after Tokyo in Japan and Bombay in India,” he says.
Alufohai remarks that in view of the foregoing, the Federal Government has set up the National Housing Fund (NHF) to provide mortgage finance to Nigerians through the Primary Mortgage Institutions set up across the country.
According to him, Lagos State has also set machinery in place to ensure sustainable housing delivery, explaining that this scheme is designed to ensure that residents of the state, irrespective of their level of income, are able to buy houses at affordable term.
“The state government has invested in building houses for the scheme and will recover the cost by spreading the payment over a period of 10 to 15 years. The houses are built in one, two and three bedrooms so that income earners of every category would benefit, according to their capability,” he says.