Nigeria has a worrisome crisis of housing deficit, but even worse is the absence of reliable data on this problem. Many believe that it will be difficult to effectively address this problem without the aid of an updatable and reliable data.
There should be dependable information on the number of houses needed for each part of the country and their unique and adaptable specifications. For better management, information on house types, unoccupied houses, deficient areas etc. should be available and used for planning and execution. The importance of data, especially in today’s world can never be overstated. According to the President of Africa Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, those who own data, owns the world.
Against this backdrop, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Nigeria (REDAN) in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company, The German Society for International Cooperation, National Bureau of Statistics, National Population Commission, Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria, World Bank, Growth and Empowerment in States, Pison Housing Company, Building Materials Producers Association of Nigeria, Association of Housing Corporations of Nigeria and Value chain have established the National Real Estate Data Collation and Management Programme (NRE-DCMP).
The programme is to ensure comprehensive collation and management of data for planning, pre-construction, construction and post construction in the sector.
According to the President and Chairman of Council for REDAN, Ugochukwu Chime, the sectoral information would help in policy formulation for the development of the industry and unleash the potentials in the sector for employment generation, inclusive socio-economic growth, and shelter provision in the country. He stressed the need for effective collaborative efforts among stakeholders to ensure that risks and rewards in the built industry could be redistributed with the aim of enhancing organisational efficiency.
According to Chime, the misrepresentation of housing data in the country which has not really helped the sector before now doesn’t sit well with him.
“I have been in different fora where ministers representing different various ministries in Nigeria outside this country were giving different data about the same issue, which is embarrassing.
“We need data for planning; we need to know where we need those houses, so we organised it in such a way that the CBN agreed to work with us to tackle housing sector crisis.
“The data emerged from developers profile and capacity, demand and affordability profile of the market within a given locality and household condition survey.
“We went a step further to ensure that all the parties who are involved in the planning of various aspects have data for it,’’ he said.
Safe to say that introduction of the National Real Estate Data is a landmark achievement with significant expectations in Nigeria’s housing sector. With this, it will be possible to collate property price index nationwide to solve housing problems in the country.
According to Chime, the data collated from national land administrators on pre-construction, construction and post construction activities nationwide would be hoisted on the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC)’s website for public usage. One can only imagine the significance of such accessible pool of data.
Another impressive fact is that the data had input on land administration and the 37 land administration entities in Nigeria including the improvement that could be brought to bear on them. The collated data included issues of mortgage law and foreclosure law as well as how to standardise operations of various institutions to ensure a developer received a standardized allocation letter.
The collated data according to Chime would also dwell on how to standardise the deed of legal mortgage and deed of assignments in various registries to ensure its financial acceptance.
“On affordability we want to know the numbers and the people in the 774 LGAs who need the houses and their affordability reach so that we will stop the issues of having duplexes everywhere or building houses people cannot buy.
“So we can now do targeted construction that can only happen when we have the data on affordability and business data to know the people who are developing the houses.
“We also have housing condition which is the baseline to ascertain the condition of existing houses in the 774 local government or the 37 entities we have in 36 states and FCT.
“These components are what we have gone on to do by organising the NREDCMP,” he said.
According to him, the association has been able to ensure the various stakeholders have understanding of how all the data they want to work upon were collated, gathered and analysed.
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This has been commended as a giant leap for Nigeria and in addressing the country’s age-long housing crisis.
The president of housing development advocacy network, and convener of Abuja Housing Show Barrister Festus Adebayo has applauded the giant step taken by all stakeholders who are involved in providing for Nigeria for the first time a reliable data that can help us solve the country’s housing problem.
By Felix Ojonugbwa
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