• Sunday, June 23, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Wiser Estate wants government land allocation policy reviewed to reduce house prices

businessday-icon
 
In order to reduce the cost of construction and bring down house prices, Wiser Estate, a real estate investment and development firm, has canvassed a review of government’s land allocation policy.
The company believes that apart from enhancing effective land administration and usage in the country, a review of the policy will also assist estate developers to discharge their roles and responsibilities of providing affordable housing for Nigerians effectively.
It advises government to stop allocating to individuals, as this makes the cost of land unduly exorbitant beyond the reach of Nigerians. To achieve this goal, Nasir Suleimani, Wiser Estate’s managing director says, “government should obtain a database of competent estate developers and get them registered; it should also dialogue with them and allocate land to them.”
He hopes that, through this, government can dictate house prices to make them affordable, pointing out that, as it is at the moment, it is real estate developers that provide infrastructure in their estates and this makes house prices exorbitant for the masses.
He further attributed the inability of Nigerians to access affordable housing to the government’s involvement in allocating land to individuals who now become third parties. “Government should stop giving land to individuals. There should be a strong focus on engendering mass housing and estate development which should be handled by professional estate developers,” he said in a statement in Lagos.
Continuing, he said, “the government does not conduct due diligence on the people and the purpose for which land is being acquired by individuals. This creates housing deficit for the country. Real estate developers now have the headache of making the estate habitable and also providing infrastructural facilities. This makes land expensive.
Waziri recalled that there were 17 million housing deficit in Nigeria, requiring about 700,000 housing units to be built annually to reasonably house the people, noting that the major problem was land acquisition and access to mortgage facility.
“There has been an increase in the number of competent developers over the years; more people have gone into real estate development. However, land does not get to real estate developers directly because government’s policy on land allocation creates problem for developers,” he stated. According to him, the land developed on by real estate experts is acquired through third parties. “They hoard the land and the cost increases, and the masses cannot afford the land. Banks request collateral from the people and there is no way the people can afford it,” he said.
He further stated that it was as a result of the policy, which put land beyond the reach of average Nigerians, that Wiser Estate is determined to provide quality housing for Nigerians. The company has embarked on several initiatives to support the dreams of Nigerians who desire to own their own homes by providing them access to mortgage loans at little or no interest rate from banks.
CHUKA UROKO