From Magnus Eze, Abuja
Worried by the estimated 17 million housing deficit in the country, stakeholders, yesterday, called for a special intervention fund for housing as applicable in some other sectors of the economy, including agriculture, mining and education as well as the creative industry.
They also called for the enactment of a bill by the National Assembly, next year, to engender affordable housing for Nigerians.
These issues came up at the maiden Nigeria Housing Finance Conference holding in Abuja, with the theme, “Financing Affordable Housing: Realities, Necessities and Possibilities,” organised by the Nigeria Integrated Social Housing Cooperative Society Limited (NISH).
Former Regional Director for Africa, UN-Habitat, Prof. Oyebanji Oyeyinka, in a speech said the new urban agenda was in line with the Goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – addressing poverty.
Oyeyinka stated that sustainable housing was closely tied to disease burden, noting that urban interventions in areas of housing, sanitation and water will help bring people out of poverty. He, therefore, suggested the use of about 30 per cent of pension fund for affordable housing as done in many countries of the world.
In his remarks, the conference convener, Yemi Adelakun, identified six most critical challenges of affordable housing to include land, technology, expert knowledge and skilled manpower, building materials, infrastructure and finance.
He explained the need for housing intervention fund that will guarantee better access to housing finance at single digit interest rate.
“This is the norm in countries that had achieved success in affordable housing. This was also a government policy between 2006 and 2007 during the sale of government properties when mortgage was pegged at 7 per cent.