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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Six states urged to embrace housing fund scheme

Lagos, Kano, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo and Oyo states have been urged to resume their participation in the National Housing Fund (NHF) scheme. They had previously discontinued their participation in the controversial exercise.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Housing & Urban Development, George Ossi, with the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Valerie Ebie, at the event.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Housing & Urban Development, George Ossi, with the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Valerie Ebie, at the event.

At the 4th Meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development held recently in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, participants noted that despite the significant progress made by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) in its operations and management of  the country’s housing finance sector, the organisation was still constrained by the of failure of some states to embrace the NHF scheme, non-passage of critical mortgage-related bills and delay in the recapitalisation of the apex mortgage house.
The two-day event had “Creating Enabling Environment for Private Sector Participation in Affordable Housing Delivery in Nigeria” as its theme.
Similarly, participants observed there were serious impediments militating against delivery of required housing stock and that Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects could be better deployed to overcome impediments to affordable housing delivery if government comes up with deliberate policies to overcome the challenges of high cost of land, transfer fees and registration processes as well as promotes training of labour, provision of ancillary infrastructure and recapitalisation of mortgage institutions.
The forum underlined the need to promote the unfolding paradigm shift in national housing delivery by further creating the enabling environment for private sector participation in affordable housing with special emphasis on the use of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency appliances as viable options for reducing the costs of buildings.
Participants likewise clamoured availability of relevant, evidence-based and up-to-date data on statistics in line with the mandate of the National Population Commission (NPC), and that ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) should review and identify gaps in the 2006 National Population and Housing Census for inclusion in the 2016 Census, while approving the establishment of a framework to guarantee timely updating and sustainability of data input on housing and preparation of a robust plan or the establishment of a Central Housing Statistics database.
It also called for the establishment of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), anchored on Home Ownership Property development cooperative societies driven by partnership with land donors, cooperative members as ‘off-takers’, contractors, investors/financiers, shareholders, Primary mortgage Institution (PMIs) and Bank of Industry (BOI) as currently practiced by Ondo state Development and Property Corporation.
A call was also made for the adoption of technological innovations in areas of walling, roofing and associated materials for housing delivery, by the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NIBRRI) as, according to them, these innovations have significant
advantages over conventional materials in terms of affordability, sustainability and efficiency.
Delegates lamented the impact of the housing deficit, which they described as grievous on the low income group, resulting in more urban slums and higher crime rates. They approved the setting- up of a Joint ActionTaskTeam (JATT) of stakeholders to work out the modalities for implementing the proposed Social Housing programme.
While noting the proactive initiatives taken by the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development towards the preparation of the National Physical Development Plan (NPDP) aimed at engendering sustainable and integrated development of the Nation as well as ensuring regional balance and optimisation of the use of
national resources, delegates urged the populace to desist from engaging the services of non-town planning professionals in carrying out town planning functions.
It was disclosed that the ministry was in the process of conducting impact assessment of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) projects executed by the ministry as a prelude to the implementation of the MDGs successor programme – the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS).

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