Experts advocate tax reduction on building materials to check housing deficit

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Task govt on funding, infrastructure development

To address the housing deficit in Nigeria, there is need for government to provide proper infrastructure, finance, creative and workable policies, experts have said.
The experts, who gathered at the breakfast meeting organized by Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) in Lagos, want government to be more involved and deliberate in building mass houses for its citizenry.

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Managing Director, TAF Africa Homes, Mustapha Njie, said government should reduce or remove taxes on building materials for construction of houses providing tax incentives for companies involved in producing local materials.

He said federal government should also declare a state of emergency with a certain percentage of the yearly budget dedicated to the housing sector.

Njie who was represented by his Legal Adviser, Lucky Kawekwune, listed some of the challenges bedevilling the sector to include lack of creativity in the architectural design of affordable housing, access to land inadequate financing both in construction and off take finance.

He noted that government needs to review the Land Use Act of 1978 to make land acquisition and transfer easier thereby encouraging use of local building materials for construction.

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Acting Head, Real Estate Finance, Stanbic IBTC Plc, West Africa, Tola Akinhanmi, said finance plays a vital role in unlocking the potential and assets in the sector, stating that more needs to be to allow exchange and transfers of titles creating developers with mortgage facilitates.

Chairman, Knightstone Properties, Adeniyi Jones, said government must have a creative way of planning to address the housing deficit in the country.

He said the real estate sector is one of the contributors to the Nigeria economy.

Earlier in his remarks, National President, NACC, Oluwatoyin Akomolafe, realizing the importance of secured access to land as a fundamental challenge to housing delivery in the country, successive governments have developed and created government residential layouts in the several locations within the country.

Some of these residential layouts, he said were fully and partly developed with housing units and sold to the public while the rest were developed and created as site and services schemes and allocated to members of the public.

Akomolafe said it is regrettable that despite policies, institutions and regulations which various Nigerian Governments including the State Government have put in place since independence, the task of instituting efficient, effective, affordable and sustainable housing delivery processes continues to challenge policy makers even as the problems of the housing sector worsens.

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