By Stanley Onyekwere
As Nigerian continues to battling with her widening housing deficit, some stakeholders in the built industry have identified lack of funds as the major factor fueling the problem.
The stakeholders who spoke yesterday in Abuja, at a two-Day workshop on challenges of affordable housing delivery in the country, described funding gap as the key constraints to effort at bridging the country’s current 20 million housing deficit.
Speaking at the event organized by the FCT chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), the Managing Director, Suntrust Savings And Loans Ltd, Alhaji Muhammad Jibrin, who was the chairman of the occasion, said paucity of funding is responsible for the very high number of housing deficit in the country. According to him, Nigeria is not alone as financing is the major issue facing the housing sector anywhere in the world, saying that the recent launching of the Nigeria Mortgage Re-financing Company (NMRC) was apt towards tackling challenges of affordable housing delivery in the country.
Similarly, the Managing Director of the NMRC, Dr. Sonnie Ayere, said although funding is a major problem in tackling the country’s widening housing deficit, but the issue of legal title is even a bigger challenge.
Represented by Temitope Akinyemei, NMRC boss added that part of the problem include tenure of debt in the housing financing market; poor building technology due to insufficient capacity of key players in the sector.
He however disclosed that the company is working government and other relevant stakeholders to proffer effective solution needed to bridged identified gap hindering access to affordable housing in the country. In his keynote address, NIQS national president, Murtala Aliyu, said to solve the country’s housing deficit, what is required is to grow the economy for the people to be able to cope with mortgage service responsibilities.
He said NIQS have a significant role in affordable housing delivery process in the country, hence the need to ensure that members of the institute are involved in housing sector.
“We want to ensure that quantity surveyors are involved in the mortgage financing process in the country’s housing sector, to contribute their quota in enhancing access to affordable housing he stressed.
On his part, representative of the Managing director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Gimba Kumo, described the establishment of NMRC as welcome development in the housing sector, as it would complement FMBN’s effort in the industry.
He stressed the need to build cheaper houses, adding that quantity surveyors have a huge task to ensure that they play their roles well, to help NMRC delivered on its objectives.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, Chairman of the FCT-NIQS, Alhaji Abba Tor, who said the workshop was organized to beam searchlight on critical issues affecting the quest for affordable housing delivery in the country, urged the participants to take full advantage of the event.
He said that papers presented at the workshop were significant on how to tackle the problem of housing deficit in the country.