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Report proposes N1 tr fund for housing

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam   |   03 October 2016   |   2:04 am

An illustration of housing units planned under the Lagos home ownership scheme

An illustration of housing units planned under the Lagos home ownership scheme

A new report has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to establish a special fund, to the tune of N1 trillion to galvanise the housing sector.The 22-page document authored by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) recalled that similar funds have been set up in the past by CBN for other sectors.
Accordingly, the report suggested that the alternative funding could be through a concessionary funding raised by the Federal government and the States, specifically dedicated to the housing sector.

Similarly, the report ‘Engaging the Approved 2016 Federal Housing Budget’ want CBN to also use bonds to finance the sector while Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company (NMRC) should be strengthened with more resources to increase its impact in bridging the housing deficit. “It should be strengthened to target not less than 200,000 houses a year.”

It further recommended that the National Housing Fund (NHF) should be re-organised and re-engineered. “Competent hands should be put in charge of its management. The fund does not require personnel and management who have a sense of entitlement and civil service mentality.

“It needs creative and innovative minds who see the fund as an opportunity to revolutionize the Nigerian economy and the standard of living of the people through the housing sector. The, rules for accessing the fund should be re-engineered to make contributions the basis of getting access. A situation where the contributors are marginalised to the advantage of profit seeking artificial persons is antithetical to equity, natural justice and good conscience.

“All persons who by law are liable to contribute to the fund should be made to contribute 2.5 per cent of their income as required by law under the pain of punishment for failure to obey the law. The informal sector should also be encouraged to contribute to the fund.”

In the wake of new housing projects being promoted by the Federal government, the report said, the government should withdraw from direct construction of houses. It should act as a regulator and set policies for individuals, communities, cooperatives and the private sector to implement direct housing construction.

“It should facilitate the pooling of resources through the NHF and other channels. Government’s projects are notorious for being over-valued, delayed in implementation and poor workmanship. Such notoriety should not be transferred and mainstreamed in the housing sector through direct construction by government,” Eze Onyekpere, CSJ Executive Director said.

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CBNNational Housing Fund

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