Not impressed by the slow rate of housing delivery in the country, the President, Association Housing Corporation of Nigeria (AHCN), Dr Victor Onukwugha, has put part of the blame at the doorstep of the nation’s commercial banks, saying they have not been forthcoming in granting construction loans to developers.
Besides, he also listed the nation’s Land Use Act and foreclosure laws as obstacles to affordable housing delivery.
According to him, Nigerian banks have not helping matters to grant construction loans to developers, adding that whenever they obliged, such loan is not more than three years tenure, with a two-digit interest rate.
This particular factor, he said has militated against proper housing delivery programme in the country.
To help the situation, the AHCN’s president canvassed for the promotion of a regime whereby construction loans are within 10 to 15 years tenure with a single digit interest rate.
He said: “Nigerian banks are not helping matters with regards to construction loans whereby developers don’t get any loan that is more than three years tenure; and with a two digit interest rate. No developer can afford to get into that and come out without being hurt in one way or the other.
“So, we have to promote the regime whereby construction loans are within 10 to 15 years tenure with a single digit interest rate.
“We need to do a lot to attract angel investors. There are so many of them all over the world looking for where to invest but some of these factors drive them away,” he said.
Speaking in a report by Festus Adebayo-led Housing Advocacy Group, Onukwugha called for the urgent review of the Land Use Act of 1978 and foreclosure laws.
According to him, as long as these laws are not reviewed, Nigeria won’t be able to attract foreign inflows into the nation’s housing sector.
He maintained that the laws must be revisited.
“There are two types of financing. One is the construction loan or financing while the other one is the purchase loan otherwise known as mortgage. We don’t have a true mortgage scheme in Nigeria and that has militated against the proper housing delivery programme in the country,” the AHCN boss said.
While alleging that the state governors hijacked the functions of their states’ housing corporations thereby rendering them unproductive, he expressed hope about the AHCN’s readiness to form a new partnership with state governors across the federation to drive affordable homes delivery.
He bemoaned the attitude of paying lip-service to the issue of housing delivery in the country, saying there had been so many programmes and policies enacted but yet to be implemented.
“All these constitute a cog on the wheel of our progress and reduce the pace at which we operate.
On housing affordability, he sees it as a government’s scheme where the authority forms a partnership with property developers to provide affordable homes to low-income citizens.
He further disclosed the association’s bid to ensure equal housing development in both rural and urban settlements.
According to him, AHCN has embarked on a programme tagged Agric-village Integrated Scheme to reverse the rural-urban migration.
He lauded FESADEB, the organiser of the annual Africa International Housing Show (AIHS), for its efforts towards promoting housing affordability and sustainability in Nigeria through its various strategic communication strategies.
He assured continued synergy with AIHS, Family Homes Funds, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and other housing agencies in a bid to bridge the nation’s housing gap.C
AHCN is an umbrella organisation for all the state housing corporations and federal housing agencies, and some private housing agencies in the country.