Expert urges Nigerians to key into FG`s housing schemes

The Group Managing Director of Alphea Mead Group, Mr Femi Akintude has said it is only when the people key into government`s housing schemes that it would be able to provide funding for the housing sector.

Akintunde further said for the government to actualize the set target of any social housing programme, private sector developers must be infused into such arrangement with the government providing a sizable chunk of the funding, while private sector balances up the difference.

He stated this in a paper presentation entitled “perspective on social mass housing infrastructure.”

He said, “The upper income is not where we have a problem; unfortunately, that is where the return on investment seems to be more attractive and that`s where we also see oversupply and under demand because of affordability.

“The middle income can be defined as the housing in the range from N10 million to 15 million. These are housing for middle income professionals those who are gainfully employed but cannot afford the luxury of buying houses of N100 million, N200 million without a loan. So, they must rely on mortgage facilities

“There is also the lower level that`s where the bulk of the gap resides about 50 or 60 percent of the gap is at this level. Houses in this range cost between 5million to 10 million naira. The people in this range can’t simply pay for any house more than N2milion.”

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He noted that given the current economic situation, 2milion naira cannot conveniently build a quality house.  “This simply implies that something must give way or someone must pay the difference to enable the people in this category own houses and that is where the concept of social housing comes into play.”

Akintude said it is the responsibility of government to provide housing for people in this category.

He, however, said government`s approach to deliver housing should not be through government directly; else, it will not be  slow and inefficient.  He said The Federal Mortgage Bank, the Federal Housing Authority and National Housing Insurance must come to play here, and that is why government encourages people to participate in these schemes.

“It is only when the populace key into these schemes that government can provide funding that can support the counterpart funding from either the domestic or international finance market.

“But the critical question is when the people contribute to this course, how can the government guarantee the security of their contributions?”

by Mustapha Suleiman

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