• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Stakeholders optimistic as Dangiwa returns as Housing Minister

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There is hope that good times await Nigeria’s housing and mortgage sector with Ahmed Dangiwa as minister. Housing stakeholders have described his appointment as a return of the native.

Dangiwa, appointed minister by President Bola Tinubu a couple of weeks ago, was the immediate past managing director and chief executive of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), an agency under the federal ministry of Housing.

As a professional architect and the first to be appointed from the housing sector, Dangiwa is seen as a round peg in a round hole by this appointment, unlike his predecessor. This lawyer never believed Nigeria had a housing deficit and that low-cost Housing was possible even with the government.

“Dangiwa’s appointment is a positive development; he did very well as FMBN managing director,” Ayoolarenwaju Kuyebi, MD/CEO of God Made Homes Luxury, said, recalling that the new minister improved access to National Housing Fund (NHF) loan and even increased the loan from N15 million to N50 million.

Kuyebi hopes that, as a minister, Dangiwa will do more because, according to him, the minister understands both the ministry and the FMBN very well. “He knows the capacity of FMBN and may decide to increase its capital base. His appointment is a welcome development, and his being an architect is a plus for the sector,” he said.

Dangiwa believes that the Ministry of Housing must provide an enabling environment for other agencies to construct houses, adding that empowering the various agencies under the Ministry of Housing is critical to bridging the housing deficit in the country.

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“The Ministry of Housing is not meant to construct houses themselves but should empower relevant agencies to do that,” he said, noting that cooperatives were also good initiatives for increasing housing stock in the country. He said this explained why he created the cooperative housing development fund during his tenure as MD of FMBN.

Babajide Durojaiye, the MD/CEO of Legrande Properties Development Limited, recalled in an interview that Dangiwa championed Rent-to-Own as a good scheme for owning homes in Nigeria, describing the new minister as a professional whose appointment will help the housing sector a great deal.

Festus Adebayo, president Housing Development Advocacy Network (HDAN), also described Dangiwa as a professional and a stakeholder in the housing industry with record achievements when he was at the FMBN as managing director.

“He strongly believes in cooperative Housing but does not believe the ministry should be involved in direct construction. At a time, he approached the National Assembly to review FMBN’s obsolete laws to get enabling statutes to make the apex mortgage bank work.

As a minister, I believe he knows what to do for the FMBN and federal housing authority (FHA) to work. He also understands the problem of the ministry, and hopefully, he will give us real estate data. He will work with developers with a good performance record,” Adebayo noted.

He welcomed the separation of Housing from the Ministry of Works by the Tinubu administration, noting that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government’s failure to do that negatively impacted housing development in Nigeria.

According to Adebayo, the new Ministry of HHousing would play its constitutional role of enabling housing development and championing relevant policies in collaboration with relevant non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and professional bodies.

The stakeholders commended President Tinubu for making Housing a full-fledged ministry, hoping it would enable the church to concentrate on housing delivery, home ownership, mortgage development, and policies.

They hoped the new minister would see the new ministry as an opportunity to develop cooperative Housing further in Nigeria; many other countries have used such initiatives to bridge the housing deficit.

The mAccording to them, the mortgage sector is another area for the minister to look into, advising that he must come up with a committee to address these problems. “Mortgage development will help to raise hope for homeownership in our youths, many of whom have left the country because nothing seems to be working for them, including access to housing,” the stakeholders said.