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Why developers cannot build N2 million house, by Onalaja

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Managing Director of Revolution Plus, Bamidele Onalaja

Notwithstanding recent efforts by the Federal Government to have a house of N2 million through the Family Homes Fund (FHF), a private developer says such homes may be untenable going by the recent economic realities.

Managing Director, Revolution Plus Property Development Company Limited, Mr. Bamidele Onalaja, made the assertion at the unveiling of his new estates in Abeokuta.

The two estates, Manchester Park & Garden, and Oxford Park, located at Obada-Oko in Abeokuta and Alabata, besides the Federal University of Abeokuta, (FUNAAB), were parts of the firm’s offerings aimed at providing affordable homes in Ogun State.

The estates, Onalaja said, also offer the opportunity for both the low and middle-income earners to own land cheaper and reduce the nation’s housing deficits.

He said it would be difficult to have a house of N2 million without the government providing the land. He stressed that land had remained a big factor in house production; hence the need for government to do more by providing free lands.

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Onalaja, who is also the Lagos State Chairman of Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN), said the reasons houses are costly are because of the price of land, depending on locations and building materials.

He applauded the Federal Government for releasing through the Central Bank of Nigeria, the sum of N200 billion for housing production.

According to him, releasing the fund through the FHF is a demonstration that the government is listening, because normally such amount would have been channeled through the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).

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He said the initiative also involved direct contact with major contractors and manufacturers of building materials like iron rods and cement without going through middlemen, which would reduce the cost of home production drastically.

Onalaja urged Family Homes Funds to tighten up the nuts on the process of releasing the N200 billion funds so that people who meet the criteria and can execute the projects get it and not friends that do not meet the criteria.

On her part, the Executive Director, RevolutionPlus, Mrs. Tolulope Onalaja, called for more collaboration between government and private developers, especially in the regulation of the sector.

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She also called for speedy processes for land titling and documentation, saying there is still no time frame to complete transactions.

According to her, in the United States, you can get your title under 48 hours, but it is different here, governor’s consent can take up to two years as there is no time frame.

“It is becoming a big challenge because you cannot get a time frame and relate to some Diasporan Nigerians that buy properties from developers like us.

“Government should give a time frame for getting titles and allow for more coordinated ways of searching and getting titles. Government still has a lot to do as regards the Omooniles’ malaise, and property taxation, which is killing businesses. They should give tax holidays to companies and encourage private businesses that are still trying to survive,” she added.

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