NISH Affordable Housing Limited and Family Homes Funds have advised cooperatives in Nigeria housing project on how they can raise capital for themselves and ensure corporate governance.
This was made known by the organisations at the first edition of their quarterly workshop on cooperative housing in Nigeria at the Shehu Musa Yaradua Centre, Abuja, from 2nd to 3rd May 2019.
While speaking at the 2-day event, the MD/CEO of Family Homes Funds, Femi Adewole stated that one of the major challenges to affordable housing in Nigeria is shortage of capital, and that it will be impossible for the government to bear alone the task of solving this key problem.
The way forward according to him is for all functional cooperatives in the country to pool themselves together under a bigger national and international platform that will enable them meet their goals and raise their own capital.
‘’Because of shortage of capital, there is need to have a fundraising scheme through social housing. Cooperatives can raise capital through house rule self-help without depending too much on external sources.
‘’They can find means of aggregating resources to meet their joint needs. And one of these means can be through a flexible members’ construction system,’’ he said.
To make this happen, he also mentioned the need for corporate governance among the cooperatives in order to bring about good management that will ensure consumer protection; trust and confidence – both from internal and external stakeholders.
He also stressed on the need for them to come under a parent body. ‘’There should be no fears that cooperatives will lose their power by coming under a parent body, no. the importance of that is that it will help them negotiate better as a collective force and it will be easier for them to navigate through arising legal issues
Some of the representatives of the cooperatives who spoke at the workshop stressed on the need for collective action in order to address age-long problems like land titling, need for unified data, affordable lending rates and general transparency.
To have the best out of cooperatives in Nigeria, Femi Ajulo, Mortgage Bank Consultant, stated that there is need for cooperatives in Nigeria to really define their purpose. ‘’We don’t have real cooperatives, we only have multi-purpose cooperatives where people go to borrow money to pay their children school fees. It shouldn’t be so. Going forward, these structural problems should be addressed,’’ he advised.
By Ojonugwa Felix Ugboja