…state provides free land for housing projects …processes land titles promptly to attract private investors
The intervention and determination by the Kaduna State government to address its housing deficit and enable ordinary people in the state to access decent housing has placed it ahead of other states of the federation in the area of housing.
The state holds out lessons for other states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with its giant strides in creating mortgages and making property registration easy for buyers.
The state has strengthened its mortgage system by passing the Mortgage and Foreclosure Law and followed it up with the creation of the Kaduna State Mortgage and Foreclosure Authority.
“This makes Kaduna the first state in Nigeria to create a mechanism to facilitate resolution of default issues in this important sector,” said Nasir El Rufai, the state governor, who spoke at a real estate forum in Lagos recently.
The governor explained that by Executive Order in June 2019, the state established the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development to drive its vision for expanding the housing stock in the state.
The state is digitising land documentation and titling and, according to the governor, the Kaduna Geographic Information Service (KADGIS) is processing land titles promptly to attract private investors in the housing sector.
Kaduna is nearly 5 percent of Nigeria’s population but accounts for up to 1 million units of the country’s 17 million housing units deficit. This gap exists mainly at the lower end of the market, which is not particularly attractive to the private sector.
This is why, as a government, the state is confronting housing delivery frontally. It is doing its best to widen and broaden the mortgage system that it has created to support the sale of government houses.
This initiative is aimed to enable Kaduna citizens to buy houses and pay over 15-20 years, paying at single-digit interest rates.
Recently, Kaduna partnered with Sterling Bank to provide single-interest mortgages in the state. It has also signed an MoU with Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) and the FHA Mortgage Bank to jointly commit N3 billion to providing affordable mortgages.
As part of a framework to support investors and buyers in the real estate sector, El Rufai said the state was providing free land for housing projects in the state and also addressing the demand side of housing by expanding access to mortgage.
“There is also the urgent need to advance the ongoing partnership between Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with regard to underwriting standards. This will, no doubt, increase housing and mortgage affordability for the masses and ultimately provide additional security for the country,” the governor said.
He advised that given the pressing need to inject dynamism into the housing sector, there might be a case for a national framework to support housing research, policy development and implementation.
Such a framework, he said, should also promote the development of suitable housing models that fit into local contexts and cater for different segments of the market.