The Federal Government is determined to address the 17 million housing deficit in the country, Dr. Wale Adeeyo, the Chairman of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) has said.
The FMBN boss, who gave this hint during in exclusive interview with our correspondent in Lagos at the weekend, observed that, “The 17 million housing deficit has been there for a while and there is no way we are going to stem it unless we are proactive about construction and housing delivery, especially affordable homes to the average Nigerian.”
Pressed further, he said, the Bank is doing its utmost best to revamp the system in order to achieve the desired objective.
“Hitherto the Bank ran like a typical civil service with all the bureaucracy but thankfully that culture is being altered and changed with more proficient and new efficient system now. We will be able to achieve that before the end of this year because we are going to change our personnel first.”
On what the Bank is doing in terms of innovation, he said there is indeed a paradigm shift in the way things are being done. “We are already doing it. What I’m talking about is what we are doing right now. We are revamping the system with all kinds of innovation, we are introducing the rent-to-own system to encourage people to come and by far cheaper than they used to. We need money and the government has promised to give us and we are looking forward to it.”
On when the funds might come, he was noncommittal. “I can’t be categorical about the money the federal government wants to give to us. Nobody knows when the government would roll out the funds. As you are aware, we are in a season of election and nothing can happen now until the election is over. But we are indeed optimistic that a lot would change in the nation’s housing ecosystem going forward. We believe the changes being effected in the housing sub-sector would be meaningful and would favour the masses ultimately,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and stakeholders in the housing sector of the economy have agreed to develop mass and affording housing with a view to abridge the 17 million housing deficit confronting the nation.
The stakeholders, who reached the agreement during the recent Mandatory Continuing Professional Development, MCPD, in Abuja, pledged to work together towards ensuring development and growth of housing sector in order to grow the economy and prevent the nation from relapsing into recession.
It may be recalled that the CBN governor Mr Godwin Emefiele, recently warned that the weak economic fundamentals currently being shown by the economy were putting the nation’s exit from recession under fresh threat.
Speaking at the MCPD seminar organized by the Abuja chapter of Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, NIESV, with the theme “Post economic recession in Nigeria-harnessing the potentials of real estate sector for a sustainable economic development”, the stakeholders collectively resolved that housing sector has important role to play to strengthen the country’s economy.