Mrs Chinwe Nnabuife, Managing Director, Property Finder Ltd, says bottlenecks in land acquisition inhibit developers’ efforts in providing affordable houses for citizens.
Nnabuife revealed this in an interview with Nigeria News Agency at the ongoing Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) Building Expo 2020, holding in Abuja from the Feb. 25 to Feb. 26.
The theme of the expo is: Consolidating the Ease of Doing Business in the Real Estate Industry.
The occasion had in attendance, stakeholders from the real estate and experts from both the public and private sectors.
According to her, it is the desire of many of REDAN members to build affordable houses that will meet the housing needs of millions of Nigerians.
She however, said the issue in the acquisition of the lands, made the houses more costly.
“When you think of the overhead cost, coupled with infrastructural improvement, you now spread this over the number of houses you want to build.
“The person that will have to buy the house is also the one whose money would be used to provide the land, house, and the infrastructural improvement and you are also in business to make profit while you are doing a service to people.
“We have a lot of our members who are out of business, because most often they fell victims of land scammers and then the subscribers lost faith in them and their businesses closed,” she said.
She called on the government to come to their aid by allocating land with C of Os to the members and approved the build plans.
“Sometimes, it passes through a lot of bottlenecks and also you go to the banks to pick up facilities to build these houses with an enormous interest rate.
“By the time we add all these up, that is why you see a lot of empty houses because these houses were built to make profit, ’’ Nnabuife said.
Speaking on the debate of housing deficit in the country, the chief executive of property finders said it was not the fault of developers but the prevailing situation in the country.
“The deficit is real when you are looking at a population of about two hundred million Nigerians, as developers we are doing our bit.
“ There are lots of antecedents that goes into providing affordable houses for people. As a developer you get to buy the land and you are building these houses running into millions.
“And you also have to spend money doing the earth works, getting the materials you need, to build these houses before you actually go into full development,” she said.
She said that was why some members decided to think outside the box and are looking at other building options like bricks and hydro form.
“Then some of us go into joint venture with the owners of the land, so that it is easier for us to build and sell. But the government has a lot to do, the government has to come in and help us.
“Those of us that can build high profile houses that are affordable and decent with all the needed infrastructural improvements, are doing it but all in all government has to come to our aid in providing trouble free lands,’’ she stated
She emphasised the need to encourage citizens that have the desire to own homes of their own, adding that all hopes were not lost.
“You can never get it wrong when it comes to housing investment. If you cannot afford big houses, you can go down to the area councils, there are developers that are also building beautiful houses in high density areas.
“Some of them have soft payment plans, for about five years, where you get to deposit N200,000 or N100,000 for a couple of years and you become a home owner.
“They should not be scared, if you do not take a bold step, you are not going to get there, some of us who came to Abuja, we took that bold step, we built our own little houses and from little drops of water oceans are formed,’’ she said.
She also advised on the need for Nigerians to be members of cooperative societies.
“These are some of the avenues they can use to access houses, they come together, form cooperative societies.
“Look for a developer, tell the developer what they want, where they want it and the developer will structure their payment plan and give them the kind of houses that is affordable for them,’’ Nnabuife said.
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