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Why mass housing remains elusive, by experts

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EXPERTS in real estate have revealed constraints facing the sector, saying, if not tackled, mass housing programmes will continue to remain elusive in the country.
 
They spoke at the induction by the Institute of Sale and Marketing Management of Nigeria in Abuja. According to them, housing delivery will require a comprehensive approach, which will mobilise and harness the efforts of private and public sectors as well as civil society.
 
The Chairman of EFAB Properties, Chief Fabian Nwaora, who traced the nation’s housing challenge to 55 years ago, where 202,000 houses were initiated, said only 15 per cent were constructed across the country.
 

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Nwaora said accessing funds from the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeriam (FMBN) was fraught with bureaucratic bottlenecks, including the presentation of collateral as precondition for the release of funds.
 
He said “the Land Use Act created more problems than it was intended to solve and access to land, especially in urban centres became more difficult and expensive than it was prior to its enactment.”
 
Nwaora also enumerated challenges facing the real estate sector as high cost of infrastructure, increasing rural urban migration, inadequate finance mechanism for low-income housing, inadequacy of administrative and legislative framework.
 
Others are: cumbersome regulatory approval process, lack of integrated planning in housing programmes, inadequacy of information system, inefficiency of house construction, and challenges in accessing them.
 
Also, Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Ahmed Dangiwa, said, “we need to spread physical, commercial and economic development across the country; our mutual interest must focus on a new model of homeonership.

Dangiwa added, apart from Lagos that serves as commercial capital, Abuja is still an administrative and political centre, but is a location most international visitors and tourists will associate with in the country.
 
On mass housing in FCT, he stated that they are planning to finance mini cities, adding that the project is targeting yearly construction of houses over the next five years.
 
Explaining further, FMBN boss said, “Each project site will have 2,500 units of two and three bedroom flats, adding that the FCT accounts for 20 per cent of houses funded by us.”
 
Contributing, FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, argued that the institute was established out of the need to have a body for sales and marketing professionals from all sectors of economy as obtained in developed world.
 
On his part, Vice President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Somadina Anene, commended the institute’s resilient efforts and success stories in changing sales persons from hard sellers to smart ones.

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