The President of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko, Monday, urged the federal government to release any budgeted funds for housing to the private developers to bridge the housing deficits gap.

Wamakko, the Chairman/Chief Executive, Jedo Investments Company Limited, who made the call in an interview in Abuja, said Nigeria represents 40 percent of housing deficits in Africa.

He said: “In the housing deficit, Nigeria is representing 40 per cent of the housing deficit of Africa. Because of problems like insurgency and banditry, a lot of people have migrated from their rural settlements to urban areas, some of them are living in primary schools because there is no place to stay. We are calling on the government at all levels to ensure that any budgetary provisions for housing should go to the private sector’’.

The REDAN president said this was because the sector has been thriving for long and had been achieving successes.

He said: “The private sector has been at the supply end of the Federal Mortgage Bank and other mortgage institutions for the aspect of assisting the Nigerian workers and Nigerians own their houses. Money that has been budgeted should go at a single digit interest to private developers, who will in turn provide these houses, create employment, pay interests, and also pay taxes on their corporate companies.

“This is what I think is ideal in the aspect of reducing the housing deficit in the country, because the government cannot do it alone, there is nowhere the government has been asked to provide houses for all the citizens. All they need to do is to give out this money they budgeted for building houses to private developers at a single digit interest of 9 to 10 per cent.

“The government will benefit from the interest charges from the private developers, houses that are being provided, employment creation and regeneration of the economy which would culminate in the increase in GDP of the country.”

Wamakko also called on the Federal Government to allocate more funds to infrastructure to accelerate development across the country.

He said despite the government’s efforts in the provision of infrastructure, there are still a lot of gaps to be covered.

“With regards to infrastructure, slicing the budget for the ministry of works, I believe is not the best even though this government has tried the best it can on the aspect of infrastructural development.

“In infrastructural development, let’s talk about roads, railways, seaports and airports, all these things are something that you consider because transport is one of the major factors that shows the economic viability of a country,” he said.

He also said there won’t be any meaningful development without a good network of roads to facilitate movement of goods and services.