Nigeria Asks African Governments To Focus On Creating Housing Opportunities

Kaduna Housing SchemeThe Federal Government has advised heads of African governments to reduce the discuss on housing deficit in the continent and rather focus more on housing opportunities regardless of the issues facing the sector.

The demand was made at the 32nd Annual Conference of the African Union for Housing Finance, which attracted participants from across Africa.

It was aimed at finding solutions to Africa’s housing problems and stimulating the continent’s economy.

Delivering her keynote address at the conference, in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. the head of Public Private Partnership Directorate Of The Federal Ministry Of Housing, Mrs Eucheria Alozie stressed the need for African governments to address many years of inadequate investment and poor maintenance culture.

These according to her, have left the continent with a significant housing deficit.

Lack Of Housing Finance

She identified the lack of housing finance in the public and private sectors, and double digit housing loans, as major factors that must be addressed for Africans to access affordable housing.

According to reports by the African Union for Housing Finance, Nigeria is said to have an estimated deficit record of 17 million housing units while Africa’s need for affordable housing is 400 million units.

It was for this reason that the union convened its Annual Conference in Nigeria and Mrs Eucheria Alozie has advised heads of African governments to tackle the challenge head-on.

Although there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to the continent’s affordable housing crisis, a board member of the African Union for Housing Finance, Professor Charles Inyangete, expressed concerns about the challenge of affordable housing.

The director of other financial institutions of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Ahmed Abdullahi, however informed participants of the opportunities in the housing sector.

Reassessing Nigeria’s Housing Deficit

Architect Ezekiel Nya-EtokThe Federal Government on Thursday launched the first mortgage scheme for 10,000 beneficiaries aimed at redressing the constraints posed by poor access to finance in the development of affordable housing in the country.

The federal government’s 10,000 mortgage scheme was inspired by President Goodluck Jonathan’s pledge to help tackle the country’s 17 million housing deficit.

On January 16, 2014, the President launched the Nigerian Mortgage Refinancing Company with a view to making mortgage accessible to Nigerians to enable them purchase and own their own homes.

To qualify as a beneficiary of a mortgage under the scheme, the prospective home owner must be pre-qualified to look for a home to buy, within the limits of the mortgage provided. Interested mortgage applicants are required to access a dedicated online portal for the scheme – www.housingfinance.gov.ng to go through a checklist of eligibility requirements to verify his or her status as a tax-paying Nigerian, who is a first time home buyer with a regular income.

Once eligibility of the applicant has been established, he would be directed to complete and submit a form requesting his personal and employer’s details, state of origin and residence as well as salary range.

On this segment of Sunrise, a member of the Ministerial Committee on the project, Architect Ezekiel Nya-Etok, and the Chairman, Public Private Partnership, Real estate developers association of Nigeria, Sola Enitan, discussed the impact the project would have in spite of the 17 million housing deficit.