Stakeholders in the real estate sector have urged the National Assembly to expedite actions on housing and mortgage related bills before it in order to create business investment and drive national development.
President of Real Estate Developers’ Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Mr. Ugochukwu Chime, and others made these calls in Lagos. Some of the relevant laws, which include foreclosure, mortgage and insurance laws among others, he noted, have been in the National Assembly since 2006. Consequently, he called for speedy actions on them to move the housing and mortgage sectors forward.
He said: “Some of the real estate and mortgage-related laws, which were forwarded to the National Assembly since February 2006 are yet to be considered.
“The laws, if reviewed, would create the desired atmosphere for investment.” He called on the government (executive/legislature) and business community to step up advocacy in this respect, saying their passage would attract foreign investment to the sector.
Also, experts from Festus Adebayo-led 12th Abuja International Housing show’s platform, urged stakeholders to work with the National Assembly to help fast-track the amendment of relevant laws before the National Assembly.
The platform is made up of experts from the various subsector of real estate industry. The experts also stressed the need to develop a building sector policy on affordable housing inconsonance with the provisions of the various acts and bills on land utilization for housing.
Besides, they tasked the government on incessant challenges of accessing long-term fund for housing and called on the Federal and State governments to adopt single digit interest rate in mortgage loan even if it requires subsidizing to bring it within the reach of the low income earners.
They stressed the need to proffer local solutions to mortgage financing by considering generational mortgage financing where tenure could be extended beyond the original mortgagee to ensure continuity. Report on stakeholders’ discussion on the Whatsapp group agreed that the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria should be recapitalized and enforcement of the National Housing Fund (NHF) contribution as enshrined in the enabling Act.
They also stressed the need for PENCOM to invest a sizeable part of the pension funds, dormant assets in banks and unclaimed dividends in Primary Mortgage Products as well as put in place the appropriate construction financing schemes including funding sources for multilateral schemes.
In the area of affordable housing provision, they urged the governments to reduce bottleneck associated with land acquisition and titling with a view of easing housing construction.
However, they agreed that the journey of repositioning the housing sector as one of the key drivers of national development, has greatly improved and they are confident that with the cooperation and support of all stakeholders, the sector will be re-energized to fulfill the aspirations of Nigerians.
Also, the Association of Housing Corporation of Nigeria (AHCN) called on the Federal Government to inject a minimum of N500billion loan as intervention fund into the real estate sector at a single digit rate for mass production of houses.
Such intervention loans, according to the association, would serve as a revolving housing fund to develop the sector. They noted that absence of cheap fund and high cost of money were among challenges confronting the housing sector .
To make their resolution a reality, ACHN called on state governments to support their housing agencies to access the funds for provision of housing for their citizens.