Stakeholders at a seminar organised by the Ogun State chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors have chided the federal and state governments for constructing housing units only for the rich.
The seminar held in Abeokuta and had as its theme: ‘Effective housing delivery in a developing economy.’
The President, NIQS, Obafemi Onashile, noted that there was the need for the government to evolve an effective housing policy, which would guarantee more affordable houses to the low-income earners and the masses.
Onashile, who was represented by the Vice-President of the institute, Mr Olayemi Sonubi, said Nigeria, with a growing economy, needed more affordable housing units.
He noted that the government’s housing policy had failed because there was no systematic plan to build houses, adding, however, that it was not enough to build houses that the low-income earners might not afford.
He called on the government to bring the interest rates on mortgage loans to one digit, because according to him, a two-digit mortgage loan regime would take a long time to pay back.
Onashile added, “Mortgage loans should not attract more than five or six per cent interest, having such loans at 19 per cent is quite high.
“There is the need for the government at the state and federal levels to build affordable housing units that low-income earners can afford.”
In his keynote address, a former General Manager, Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation, TundeAwolana, an engineer, said not many low-income earners could afford the housing units being built by the government and private developers.
He stated, “Housing corporations are building prohibitive housing units, which can only be afforded by criminally-minded people.
“They are supposed to build housing units for low and medium-income earners. Some wealthy Nigerians are also building big houses their children may not like to inherit.”
Awolana called on professional in the built environment to rise up to the occasion in tackling the challenge of housing deficit in the country.
The Ogun State Chairman, NIQS, Mr Kayode Dipeolu, said the workshop was aimed at examining the effective delivery of housing units in the country.
Samuel Awoyinfa, Abeokuta
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