A value chain expert, Dr Joshua Egbagbe, has urged the Federal Government and estate developers to conduct an off-takers’ affordability analysis before embarking on any housing construction.
Egbagbe, who is also the Chairman, Value Chain Project Consultants Ltd., gave the advice in an interview with newsmen in Abuja yesterday.
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He said the advice became necessary to achieve affordable housing in Nigeria.
Egbagbe noted that housing deficit lingered in the country, after all said and done, due to lack of off-takers affordability paradigm shift which he said was critical in bridging the deficit.
He also said the analysis would enable the housing developers to know the indices of both formal and informal workers in Nigeria, to arrive at their wants and income.
“Through the off-takers affordability paradigm shift, which is the off-takers analysis, the government and developers would be able to know the number and kind of houses to build and who needs intervention.
“With the analysis, no developer will build any house that will be wasted or unoccupied because he is building to a targeted, affordability group.
“In the housing sector, the policies don’t seem to take the people who need the houses (off-takers) into considerations.
“Off-takers should be put at the very centre of housing policies, planning and decision- making processes.
“Right now in Nigeria, there is a big mismatch between the houses that are being built and the individual affordability, otherwise called pocket capacity,’’ he said.
He, however, proposed a paradigm shift which he said would put the off-takers in the centre of planning and policy of housing.
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“In every aspect of the value chain of housing, if you do not understand the challenges the off-takers are going through, you will not be able to achieve affordable housing.
“And there will be a dichotomy or discordance between the house and affordability.’’
The expert noted that some workers might not be able to afford six per cent mortgage interest of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) under the National Housing Fund (NHF) scheme.
According to him, while FMBN fund is at six per cent, the cheapest in Nigeria, the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) is refinancing with about 16 per cent to 18 per cent interest rate.