HDAN, a housing advocacy organization, believes that the new policy on Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O) by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Nyesom Wike, will eliminate dormant capital in the Nigerian property market.
The policy demands that C-of-O be granted to all homes in mass housing projects in the FCT.
The organisation, which prides itself on the first of its kind in the country, noted in a statement that the policy was what the people had been waiting for, stressing that the policy would remove the dead capital which can be seen in all the states of the federation and the FCT.
Lack of C-of-O which is the reason many properties in the country are not mortgageable explains why property owners cannot trade with them, making them dead capital. According to a report by PwC, Nigeria currently has between $300 billion and $900 billion worth of dead capital in residential real estate and agricultural land.
“For the minister to have issued a directive that all dead assets in the city should be brought back to life with legal titles is a good development. “To us at HDAN, this is part of President Bola Tinubu’s manifestoes and we are very happy that this has started from the FCT,” Festus Adebayo, HDAN’s Executive Director, said.
Adebayo hoped that, if this was done, the economy of Nigeria would improve within one year.
Wike had explained that the purpose of setting up the task force was to ensure that houses in the mass housing estate were granted certificates of occupancy.
“The implication of this policy is that, with C-of-O, the owners of these properties can have access to finance and this will reduce the level of poverty in the country. It will also affect the mortgage sector positively,” the HDAN boss noted.
According to him, the worth of dead capital in residential real estate is much, stressing that such money should have been used as catalysts for the rapid economic development of the country and poverty reduction among Nigerians.
“According to a 2018 – 2019 Nigeria living standards survey (NLSS) report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), 71.4 percent of landlords sampled across the 36 states and federal capital territory are without titles. This is one of the causes of poverty in Nigeria,” Adebayo said.
He assured that HDAN would support the policy by creating awareness among the state governors to adopt the policy in their domains.
He said that the policy would facilitate the development of the mortgage sector and generally encourage reliance on properties as security for credit just as he hoped that it would generate substantial revenue for both the state and federal governments.
Adebayo called on President Tinubu to prevail on state governors to issue C-of-O to all houses in the mass housing projects in their domain.
He noted that HDAN has been at the forefront of pursuing housing sector development, disclosing that they have begun consultation with the National Assembly on how to amend some of the obsolete laws that have been impeding a good environment for real estate investment.