More stakeholders in the Nigerian housing sector are beginning to speak on the best approach to solving Nigeria’s housing deficit. Over 70% of Nigerians who live below the poverty line do not own a home of their own, making the country one of the worst in the world in terms of home ownership ratio.
Over the years, billions of dollars have gone down the drain in several government led housing projects without any significant impact with regards to provision of houses, one of man’s most important needs.
The Abuja International Housing Show is the place where the best ideas for solving housing problems are presented for stakeholders to deliver on. At this year’s event which will be attended by 40, 000 participants from Nigeria and at least 15 countries, there will be opportunities for housing cooperatives in Nigeria to learn a couple of things about the formation of housing cooperatives around the world and how they can be sustained to meet their set goals.
According to the show’s convener, some of the opportunities for housing cooperatives at this year’s event includes the following.
a. Housing cooperatives are encouraged to attend in order to learn from international speakers about the experience of housing cooperatives abroad and how they have been able to successfully organize to pursue housing.
b. There will be opportunity for cooperatives in Nigeria housing to learn how they can raise capital for themselves. One of the major challenges to affordable housing in Nigeria is shortage of capital, and it will be impossible for the government to bear alone the task of solving this key problem. Attending cooperatives will learn from experts about how they can creatively raise their own funds and finance their housing projects without resorting to strategies that will lead to more debt.
c. One of the lacking features of housing cooperatives in Nigeria is corporate governance. The show will present an opportunity for the cooperatives to understand the best practices and how they can run effectively as a corporate entity that not only respect codes and orders but benefit from it. Corporate governance and good management will ensure consumer protection; trust and confidence – both from internal and external stakeholders.
d. There will be an opportunity for them to know how to pull themselves together under a bigger national and international platform that will enable them meet their goals. It is increasingly becoming easier for cooperatives around the world to operate under one umbrella of ambition.
e. There is no other housing event that brings more developers together than the Abuja International Housing Show. So, there will be opportunities for the cooperatives to meet one on one with housing developers and off-take their projects. This meeting with developers will also help the cooperatives to have their own influence on the type of houses they want ranging the designs, sizes, facilities and other building requirements. With this, the developers will be working based on an existing need and not based on guess work or assumptions. AIHS believes that this is very critical in order to avoid the situation where houses are developed without off-takers or any sense of purpose.
f. Many housing cooperatives are finding it difficult to strike partnerships with housing stakeholders, public and private institutions and banks. Having realised this problem, the 13th AIHS will provide them an opportunity to learn about the requirements for cooperatives in order to be recognised for corporate partnerships that will benefit their members’ goals and objectives.
These and many more opportunities are available at the 13th AIHS for all housing cooperatives that participate in the show which starts from 23rd to 26th July 2019 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja. Over 400 exhibitors will be at the show selling their new range of innovative and cost effective products for everyone including cooperatives.
By Ojonugwa Felix Ugboja